WASHINGTON, July 11 (Reuters) - In the end it was a meeting
in a nondescript conference room in Chicago that finally set in
motion the long-awaited US apology to Pakistan last week
ending a seven-month impasse over NATO supply routes for the
The meeting in late May followed months of clamoring by
Islamabad, images of flag-draped coffins on TV, and widespread
outcry from Pakistanis incensed by the US air attack that
killed 24 of their soldiers on the Afghan border last November.
The breakthrough, in which Islamabad reopened supply routes
into Afghanistan and Washington yielded to months of Pakistani
demands to apologize for the border deaths, was praised as a
prelude to improved ties between two nations whose security
alliance had lapsed into mutual suspicion and hostility.
After US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's discussions
with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in the cavernous
Chicago conference center where world leaders met for a NATO
summit, Clinton instructed Thomas Nides, a top deputy back in
Washington, to do what it took to find a solution ensuring NATO
could once again supply the war in Afghanistan via Pakistan.
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