NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks at the National Press Club in Canberra on June 13, 2012. NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen on June 13 vowed not to abandon Afghanistan as foreign nations plan to transition forces out of the country after a decade of conflict. AFP PHOTO / Mark GRAHAM
Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks at the National Press Club in Canberra on June 13, 2012.    —Photo by  AFP

CANBERRA: Nato’s chief hopes to soon reopen military supply routes through Pakistan despite new transport agreements with other Afghanistan neighbours providing alternatives.

Nato this week struck agreements with Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan allowing the military to evacuate hardware from Afghanistan and bypass Pakistan. Pakistan closed its southern supply routes six months ago after US airstrikes accidentally killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

The US recently said a negotiating team was returning home without a deal to reopen the routes. But Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters in Australia on Wednesday that he hopes Pakistan routes will reopen “in the not too distant future.”

He says Central Asian alternatives could prove more costly.

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