EU and UK express condolences over NATO strike in Pakistan


European Union chief diplomat Catherine Ashton expressed condolences to the government on Tuesday over a NATO airstrike that killed 24 troops and voiced support for an investigation.
Ashton “is closely following reports of the incident”, her office said after Saturday’s raid near the Afghan border, which prompted a furious Islamabad to cut off alliance supply routes to Afghanistan.
“High Representative Catherine Ashton has offered her deepest condolences to the government and people of Pakistan for the loss of life and injuries resulting from the incident along the Afghan-Pakistani border at the weekend,” her office said in a statement.
The EU official “supports Pakistan and NATO efforts to conduct a full investigation”, it said.
Ashton “underlined the EU’s commitment to continue its engagement with Pakistan in pursuit of the shared goals of promoting peace, security and prosperity”.
Her office added, “Pakistan is a vital partner in the region and has an essential role to play in the resolution of the Afghan conflict.”
Separately, the UK foreign secretary also has expressed condolences on the loss of life in the attack.
A Foreign Office spokesman said, “Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar called the foreign secretary on Saturday November26. The foreign secretary expressed his deep condolences to the families, armed forces and people of Pakistan for the loss of life that took place on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan earlier that day.”
“He assured Foreign Minister Rabbani Khar the UK supports a full investigation into the circumstances of this incident. It is more important than ever that all parties do their utmost to improve mutual peace and security, which will be to the benefit of all the countries in the region,” the spokesman said.