8 May 2008
Agreement to Strengthen Border Cooperation among Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan Reached in Tehran
VIENNA, 8 May 2008 (UN Information Service) - A trilateral meeting among Ministers from Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan has concluded in Tehran with agreement on measures to strengthen border cooperation among the three countries in order to stem the flow of drugs from Afghanistan.
The meeting, which is part of the Triangular Initiative brokered by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), approved practical measures to improve trans-border cooperation to fight drugs and crime. It was agreed to establish three Border Liaison Offices (one on each of the three borders) to plan and mount joint operations. Modalities will be worked out at an expert meeting in Kabul in June to improve cross-border telecommunication exchanges on counter-narcotics. The Parties agreed to intensify the interdiction of precursor chemicals under Operation TARCET - an action plan to target the smuggling of Acetic Anhydride in and around Afghanistan - for which UNODC is providing training and equipment. Iran will establish a permanent Secretariat for the Triangular Initiative and a regional centre for intelligence exchange, with UNODC's assistance.
A key point of discussion was how to prevent abuse of the Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement (ATTA) and international road transport regulations (TIR). "We need to ensure that ways to facilitate trade are not exploited by smugglers of guns, chemicals and weapons", said the Executive Director of UNODC, Antonio Maria Costa. Following-up the Tehran meeting, experts will develop a common policy on the control of sea and land commercial trade (particularly containers) under TIR and ATTA.
Participants stressed the devastating impact of opium and heroin on their countries, and urged the international community, particularly European countries, to reduce demand for drugs and support the Triangular Initiative.
During his visit to Iran, Mr. Costa met with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Dr. Ahmadi Moghaddam, Advisor to the President and Secretary General of the Drugs Control Headquarters of Iran, and Senior Ministers. He also exchanged views with representatives of the diplomatic corps in Iran.
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For further information, please contact:
UNODC, I.R. of Iran
Tel.: (+98-21) 8887 8377-81
Fax: (+98-21) 8879 6700