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  Wednesday, November 25, 2020
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Afghan authorities to combat drug trafficking have not succeeded
The efforts of the international community and the Afghan authorities to combat drug trafficking have not succeeded, Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said in his speech at the Council on Foreign Relations here. Citing the data of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Mr. Ivanov noted that the share of Afghanistan in global opium production in 2004 was 87% (76% in 2003). It produced 4,200 tons of opium and opium poppy plantations nearly doubled as against 2003, from 80,000 to 131,000 hectares. "On the whole, 2.3 million work in the opium industry and the returns of producers and drug merchants are assessed at $2.8 billion," said the Russian minister. Success in the struggle against terrorism, re-integration of terrorists, and eventually the creation of stable centralized power in Afghanistan depend on the solution of the drug problem. "We would like to see a more active involvement of international forces of assistance to security in the fight against drug production and trade," Mr. Ivanov said. At the same time, he said that the new government of Afghanistan is acting sufficiently competently to normalize life in the country. "The new Afghan government is ethnically balanced and sufficiently competent for normalizing life in the country," he said. "However, we believe that some prominent and popular leaders of ethnic minorities could be put on the new government." Sergei Ivanov pointed out that these leaders could do more by working on the government than by remaining in opposition to it. "At the same time, we view flirting with the so-called moderate Taliban as dangerous practices," the minister added.
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