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.