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EU to work closely with Afghanistan's neighbors to counter drugs

Brussels, Dec 1, IRNA-The European Union pledged Thursday to continue to aim to increase its assistance to Afghanistan and her neighbors to fight drug trafficking.

"Working closely with Afghanistan's neighbors to strengthen their borders and to promote cross-border cooperation with Afghanistan is a key element of the EU's approach," EU interior ministers, meeting in Brussels Thursday afternoon, said in a statement.

They called on EU states to provide assistance to the law enforcement agencies of these countries in the field of counteracting the production and trafficking of drugs and diversion of precursors.

Noting that Afghanistan is the source of about 90 percent of the heroin consumed in the EU, the statement emphasized that counter narcotics work will continue to be a key pillar of activity in EU-Afghanistan relationship.

The first EU Drugs Troika with Afghanistan took place on September 6, 2005 in Brussels.

The ministers welcomed the 'important progress' made by the Afghan Government in combating drugs and congratulated it on achieving a 21 percent reduction in cultivation in 2005.

The EU committed over 250 mn euro in 2005 to Afghanistan in combating drugs.

"For the long-term political and economic stability of Afghanistan, a strong and continued commitment on behalf of the EU is essential," noted the statement.

... Payvand News - 12/1/05 ... --

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