Conflict & Justice

Pakistani president Zardari to attend NATO Afghanistan summit in Chicago


Pakistani President Azif Ali Zardari in Moscow on May 11, 2011.


Dmitri Kostyukov

Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari will attend the NATO summit meeting on Afghanistan in Chicago this weekend, his office confirmed.

NATO secretary general General Anders Fogh Rasmussen had telephoned Zardari on Tuesday to invite him to the summit just days after he suggested that the neighbor of Afghanistan would not be included because of the continued closure of Pakistan's border with Afghanistan to war supplies.

More from GlobalPost: NATO invites Pakistan to key summit on Afghanistan in Chicago

Islamabad closed the supply routes to NATO nearly six months ago to protest US drone strikes that mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani troops near the Afghan border, the Associated Press reported.

The Obama administration has refused to apologize for the attack and stop drone strikes, as demanded by Pakistan’s parliament.

However, the decision to attend the meeting came after consultation with Pakistan's cabinet and top military leaders, the statement from Zardari's office said, CNN reported.

According to VOA, Washington and Islamabad are close to a deal to reopen NATO supply routes before the start of the NATO summit on Sunday.

However, Press TV cited Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar as saying that any decision about ending the blockade would be made by the country's lawmakers.

She added that there was no hidden agreement between Islamabad and Washington over the issue.

"Restoration of NATO supplies is in the interest of Pakistan," she said. "There is no hidden agreement behind the reopening of NATO routes. It will be done in accordance with the Parliamentary resolution."