Russia, NATO to Discuss Afghan Drug Issue in Brussels on March 24

From RIA Novosti: Russia and NATO will try to work out a joint position on fighting drug trafficking in Afghanistan during a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council at the ambassador level, which will take place in Brussels on March 24, Russia’s special envoy to NATO has said.

Dmitry Rogozin said in an interview with RIA Novosti fighting the Afghan drug mafia was a major task for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force operating in the war-ravaged Central Asian country, adding it was same important as "fighting terrorists, extremists."

However, the Russian diplomat said, "in real practice, we see that NATO troops view it [the fight against the drug mafia] as a secondary task," citing such measures as destroying opium fields should not be applied as they would force Afghan peasants, whose main incomes are derived from growing opium poppy, to join Taliban."  (photo: AP)

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