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10-nation Kabul meet mulls joint anti-drugs strategy

10-nation Kabul meet mulls joint anti-drugs strategy

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Oct 09, 2017 - 18:05

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Representatives from 10 countries who met in Kabul on Monday discussed to devise a joint regional strategy at combating narcotics.

A two-day conference hosted by the Ministry of Counter Narcotics in Kabul is being attended by representatives from Afghanistaninfo-icon, Iran, China, Russia, Pakistaninfo-icon, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Afghan counter-narcotics minister Salamat Azimi told the meeting that a draft regional cooperation strategy against drugs had been prepared by his ministry and would be discussed at the two-day conference.

He said the draft after being thoroughly examined and analyzed would be then finalized by the representatives.

He said main points in the draft were strengthening regional cooperation in law enforcement, exchanging intelligence information, extradition of criminals, money laundering, tightening control over borders for curbing trafficking, regional cooperation in reducing demand for drugs, encouraging cooperation from regional and international organizations.

Azimi dubbed drugs as a critical issue for Afghanistan and the region, adding the menace had changed into an original factor behind insecurity in the country.

On the day one of the conference, journalists were denied the opportunity to speak with the foreign delegates but they were told the result and remarks would be shared with media tomorrow (Tuesday).

Brig. Gen. Abdul Khalil Bakhtyar, deputy minister of counter-narcotics, said regional countries should increase their cooperation in terms of fighting drugs.

He said cultivation, smuggling and use of drugs were major challenge to stability and peace in Afghanistan.

He said combating drugs would yield positive result if the campaign had regional support and cooperation.

A recent report jointly published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Afghanistan government says drugs production increased by 43 percent in 1395 solar yearinfo-icon, when 4,800 tonnes of drugs were produced.

The Ministry of Counter-Narcotics says the population of addicts in the country was nearly one million in 1388 solar year but jumped up to three million and 600,000 in 1396 solar year; including 850,000 womeninfo-icon and one million and 200, 000 children.

sns/ma

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