Iran's FM says next year "drug tsunami" to hit region
Azerbaijan, Baku, April 26 /Trend S.Isayev, T. Jafarov/
Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that next year, the region will experience even more problems with drugs, and it will eventually be hit with a "drug tsunami", IRNA reported.
Salehi made the remarks at the meeting of senior officials in the framework of the Ministerial Conference of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan, which started its work today in Kazakhstan.
The key objective of the meeting is to agree on the text of the Almaty Declaration and other documents of the main ministerial-level meeting scheduled for April 26, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan.
Speaking of Afghanistan, Salehi said that next year the land in Afghanistan that is used for growing drugs, will increase by 3 times.
Further speaking, Iran's FM noted that the region suffers from low level of education, lack of financial resources, and weak economic structures.
"These are the common problems for regional countries, that negatively affect all of them," Salehi said.
He noted that for solving these problems, foreign forces must exit the region, as regional countries should deal with their problems on their own.
"The result of foreign intervention in the region has led to increase of drug trafficking in the first place," Salehi noted.
Salehi expressed hope that Afghanistan, and other Asian countries would pay more attention to regional cooperation, and increase it, so that the overal security in the region would improve.
Iran has intensified its fight against drug trafficking as the Islamic Republic's geographical position has made it a favorite transit corridor for drug traffickers who intend to smuggle their cargoes from Afghanistan to drug dealers in Europe.
Each year, the government of Iran spends hundreds of millions of dollars erecting barriers along the borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan and pumping resources into checkpoints. Officials said the battle against drug addiction and trafficking costs Iran $1 billion a year.