US in talks to use Pakistan's airspace for counterterrorism in Afghanistan
The United States is currently in talks with Pakistan regarding the use of Pakistani airspace to conduct air strikes and intelligence operations on militants in Afghanistan.
The information was revealed by CNN, who referred to three unnamed sources said to be close to the matter.
According to the report, Pakistan is in favor of signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the US. Its terms would allow the use of airspace in exchange for US assistance with Pakistan’s own counterterrorism efforts as well as providing help to manage relations with India.
The progress of the negotiations was discussed at a classified briefing with members of the US Congress on October 22, CNN reports.
On October 23, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement in response to the reports. The statement quotes a Pakistani spokesperson as saying that “no such understanding was in place” but that “Pakistan and the US have longstanding cooperation on regional security and counter-terrorism and the two sides remain engaged in regular consultations”.
The US has used Pakistan’s airspace to reach Afghanistan for many years. However, to this day, no formalized agreement between the two countries has been issued.
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