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Wednesday, 3 December, 1997, 15:56 GMT
Taleban to Texas for pipeline talks

A senior delegation of Afghanistan's Taleban movement has gone to the United States for talks.

The delegation is to meet officials of the company which wants to build a pipeline to export gas from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan.

A spokesman for the company -- Unocal in Texas -- said it had agreed with Turkmenistan to sell its gas.

Last month an Argentinian company (Bridas) said it would soon sign a deal to build the pipeline.Unocal is said to have already begun teaching Afghan men technical skills.

The BBC regional correspondent says a pipeline deal would boost the Afghan economy, but peace must be established first, and that still seems a distant prospect.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service