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16 January 2002

Text: U.S. Welcomes Afghan Ban on Drug Production and Trafficking

(Afghan Interim Authority Cooperates in Fighting Narcotics) (180)
Following is a statement from State Department deputy spokesman Philip
Reeker January 16 in which the U.S. government welcomes a decree by
the Afghan Interim Authority banning the cultivation, processing, and
trafficking of opiates.
(begin text)
U.S. Department of State 
Office of the Spokesman 
January 16, 2002 2002/39
Statement by Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman
AFGHANISTAN BANS OPIUM POPPY CULTIVATION
On January 16, the Afghan Interim Authority issued a decree banning
the cultivation, processing, and trafficking of opiates. In the late
1990s, Afghanistan became the largest producer of the world's supply
of opium and heroin. It continued to be the world's major supplier of
illegal opiates even after the Taliban's ban on opium poppy
cultivation in July 2000.
We welcome the decree by the Interim Authority, which is consistent
with its commitment in Bonn to cooperate with the international
community on counternarcotics. We look forward to working closely with
the Interim Authority and the international community to assist
Afghanistan in fulfilling its international narcotics commitments.
(end text)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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