The United States has opened the way for an overture to its rival Iran, saying it expects to invite the Islamic Republic to a future conference on boosting Afghan security and development.
Iran and Afghanistan share close ethnic and cultural ties
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named Iran as a likely participant at the talks after being pressed into saying that Afghanistan’s neighbours would be invited.
Clinton said she anticipated the high-level meeting would be held on March 31 under United Nations auspices, but did not say where it would take place.
Later the White House spokesman Robert Gibbs also said he hoped Tehran would be "constructive" if it took part in the conference.