The United States and Britain have welcomed Pakistan's decision to reopen its key routes for transportation of NATO supplies into Afghanistan. US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta in a statement said the Obama Administration will continue to work closely with Pakistan in dealing common security challenges. Key Congressional leaders from both Democratic and Republican parties have also welcomed reopening of Pakistani supply routes into Afghanistan‚ hoping for stronger partnership with Pakistan. Chairman US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator John Kerry said the reopening of the ground supply route into Afghanistan‚ is a good example of the importance of US working together with Pakistan. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham‚ who serves on the Armed Services Committee‚ said the decision will greatly assist in curbing terrorism. Congressman Howard Berman‚ a Democrat‚ said it will help the United States and our allies to conduct planned withdrawal of troops in an expeditious and cost-effective manner. Britain has also welcomed Pakistan's decision for opening of NATO supplies route. Acting British High Commissioner Alisan Black told Radio Pakistan that opening of NATO supplies reflects Pakistan's support to international community for peace and stability in Afghanistan. NATO Secretary General Andres Fogh Rasmussen has welcomed the Pakistan's announcement to restore ground supply lines to Afghanistan. In a statement‚ he said‚ the resumption of transit arrangements for ISAF supplies demonstrates strengthened cooperation between ISAF nations and Pakistan. The NATO chief added that Pakistan has an important role to play in stabilizing Afghanistan.