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International meeting in Dushanbe to discuss fighting drug spread

November 29, 2013, 9:34 UTC+3 DUSHANBE
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DUSHANBE, November 29. /ITAR-TASS/. An informal international meeting of drug authorities, which opens on Friday in Dushanbe, plan to offer common approaches to fighting the threat of drug spread from Afghanistan after 2014, a representative of Tajikistan’s presidential agency for control over drug spread Umeda Yusupova told Itar-Tass. The Russian delegation at the meeting, which features twelve countries, is headed by deputy head of the federal drug control service Oleg Safonov.

Yusupova said during the discussion the delegations “plan to offer common approaches to bringing to stable the situation and to fighting the drug expansion in the region as the coalition troops leave Afghanistan in 2014 and to analyse how the parties are prepared to undertaking adequate anti-drug measures.”

The informal meeting was initiated by Tajikistan, she continued. Ministers and heads of anti-drug authorities of Russia, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, China, the US, Turkey, the EU, and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime will discuss “the drug situation in the region and will give forecasts for 2014,” she said.

“A meeting of the present format is organised for the first time, and one of the first to support it was the UN Deputy Secretary General Yuri Fedotov,” saying “the cooperation format of the kind will be another important step in fighting illegal distribution of drugs,” Yusupova said.

The meeting participants will adopt a statement and will answer questions from the media following the event.

Tajikistan’s authorities have said their country “is a buffer reflecting the drug threat coming from Afghanistan.” In the territories of Central Asia and Russia, over past 17 years were confiscated 193.7 tonnes of opium and heroin, where about 30 percent had come from Afghanistan. “Clearly, the republic cannot be concerned about the situation in Afghanistan following the removal of the NATO forces from there, especially since already now, the UN says, drug production in that country has been growing dramatically,” head of Tajikistan’s drug authority Rustam Nazarov said calling for “consolidation of the entire international community” in fighting the drug threat.

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