6 September 2011, 21:36

Rainbow-2 anti-drug plan for Afghanistan

Rainbow-2 anti-drug plan for Afghanistan

Russia is ready for decisive action to curb Afghan drug production. The statement came from chief of the Federal Drug Control Service Viktor Ivanov during a meeting in Kabul, which was attended by the anti-drug chiefs of Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan.

Russia is ready for decisive action to curb Afghan drug production. The statement came from chief of the Federal Drug Control Service Viktor Ivanov during a meeting in Kabul, which was attended by the anti-drug chiefs of Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan.

A second meeting of the so-called anti-drug quartet, set up on the initiative of the 2010 Sochi summit, it followed top-level talks in Dushanbe.

Addressing reporters ahead of the Kabul meeting, Viktor Ivanov said that the top issue on the agenda would be why Afghan heroin keeps spreading across the globe despite international counter-efforts. One reason why the huge presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan failed to stop drug flows is that destroying opium plantations and drug-making laboratories is not on their mandate, Viktor Ivanov said.

No grain or vegetables are cultivated in Afghanistan, only opium poppy, he said. In this situation, the key task is reorienting the Afghan agriculture to non-drug crops.

Mr. Ivanov put forward a step-by-step anti-drug plan called Rainbow-2. It stipulates the creation of an international body that would work in close cooperation with the Afghan government, the governments of neighboring states and the United Nations. He also suggested that the Afghan drug problem be recognized as a threat to international peace and security, and that foreign troops in Afghanistan be authorized to destroy poppy plantations.

The Afghan counter-narcotics minister Zarar Ahmad Moqbel Osmani said he welcomed the idea to set up an international center for strategic anti-drug cooperation and reminded the audience that a lion`s share of money raised through drug trafficking is spent on arms support to terrorists. Poppy is cultivated only in areas controlled by extremists. In view of this, effective anti-drug policies depend much on measures taken to fight terrorism.

The sides taking part in the anti-drug Quartet agreed to resume joint operations to destroy poppy crop, drug laboratories and prevent illegal drug trafficking. By the end of this year, members of the Quartet agreed to focus on the Afghan province of Badakhshan, which lies on the Tajik border and where the Afghan heroin begins its way to Russia and Europe.

Russia`s anti-drug chief Viktor Ivanov: “It is necessary to set up an expert group to hold regular meetings and work out a road map plan to ensure our effective cooperation on this front”.

Mr. Ivanov stressed the need to boost anti-drug cooperation with the EU. He added that in 2010 the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the implementation of a new anti-drug policy in Afghanistan, where Russia was mentioned as one of key participants.

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