Russian FM headed to Pakistan; Afghan talks likely on agenda

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ISLAMABAD (AP) — Russia’s foreign minister is to arrive in Pakistan for a two-day visit expected to focus on efforts to bring peace to neighboring Afghanistan. The visit comes as a May 1 deadline for U.S. troops to leave Afghanistan in line with a deal Washington brokered a year ago with the Taliban seems increasingly unlikely. The U.S. has accelerated efforts to get a peace deal for Afghanistan but is also seeking a three-to-six month extension on the troop withdrawal deadline. That’s according to officials familiar with the talks. Afghanistan has seen a nationwide spike in violence as peace negotiations in Qatar between the Taliban and the Afghan government have stalled.

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