Washington: The White House has ruled out an apology to Islamabad for November 26 incident in which 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed in a NATO cross border fire and said it is time that the two countries move ahead, two days after such a demand was made Pakistan People's Party leader Bilawal Bhutto.
"I wouldn't have anything new to offer on that beyond what we have said, which we deeply regret the incident. We have thoroughly investigated it. We shared the results of the investigation with the Pakistanis," Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor, told foreign journalists when asked about his reaction in Bhutto's demand.
"We believe there's a basis for us to move forward and move beyond that particular incident, to take steps to make sure that that doesn't happen again, to be respectful of
Pakistani sovereignty and to be in, frankly, better communication in that areas so that we don't see repeated incidents on the border," he said at a conference at Foreign Press Center at Washington.
Responding to another question, Rhodes said a bilateral meeting between US President Barack Obama and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari was never planned on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Chicago.
"On the matter of a bilateral meeting, the president didn't host any formal bilateral meetings except for the one with President Karzai, given the fact that there was a very busy NATO summit schedule. So it was always our intention to really focus his time on these multilateral meetings," he said.
He said that the meeting with President Karzai was a priority as Afghanistan was the focus of the summit.
President Obama was able to meet on the margins of the meetings with a handful of leaders that included President Zardari, he added.


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