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EU-Iran discuss ways to boost cooperation in combating drug trafficking

Brussels, July 16, IRNA-The sixth round of talks between the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Iran on drug issues at the experts level was concluded in Brussels on Friday.

"In general the meeting was very fruitful. The two sides exchanged views on the drug situation in the EU and Iran and the action taken and the cooperation between the two sides," Iranian diplomatic sources told IRNA.

The Iranian side updated the Europeans on the drug situation in Iran, while the EU side briefed the Iranians on the current situation of the drug issue in EU countries.

The Iranian delegation was led by Mahmoud Barimani, director, department for international social cooperation in the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

It also included Masoud Rizwani, drug liaison officer from the anti-drug police of Iran.

The EU side was led by Gilles Dickson, head of drugs sector at the British Foreign and Commonwealth office.

Officials from the European Commission, the Council as well as from EU member states also participated in the one-day meeting.

The UK currently holds the rotating EU Presidency.

The talks covered the EU's action plan for 2005-2008 on drugs in which one of the clauses relates to the EU's cooperation with Afghanistan's neighbours including Iran on combating drug trafficking.

The EU has prepared a draft text on promoting cooperation against drug trafficking which is to be given to Iran during the next meeting to be held in November, said the Iranian diplomatic sources requesting anonymity.

A delegation from the 25-member European bloc visited Iran in May to discuss drug-related issues.

Iran also made proposals on EU contribution in the fight against transit of drug and narcotic trafficking from Afghanistan to Europe through Iran.

Due to the increase of poppy cultivation in Afghanistan, drug trafficking from Afghanistan to Europe is increasing.

The Iranian delegation addressed the issue in detail and requested the EU side to provide the equipment to control its borders as much as it can.

Iran is paying a heavy price in protecting its borders from drug smugglers. Every week two or three Iranian border guards are martyred protecting its borders with Afghanistan from drug smugglers.

... Payvand News - 7/16/05 ... --

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