Obama appreciates US-Pakistan counternarcotics efforts, Pakistan’s resolve to be poppy-free


Acknowledging Pakistan’s resolve to soon regain poppy-free status, President Barack Obama has reaffirmed the United States’ counternarcotics cooperation with the key regional country. “The Government of Pakistan remains concerned about opium poppy cultivation in Pakistan and is working to return to opium poppy-free status soon,” he said.
A joint U.S.-Pakistan survey in 2009 estimated that 1,779 hectares of opium poppies were under cultivation in Pakistan, approximately 130 hectares less than was under cultivation in the country during the previous year, Obama noted in a memorandum for the U.S. Secretary of State.The memorandum is presidential determination on Major Illicit Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for Fiscal Year 2011.
“The range of U.S.-Pakistan initiatives, which include programs to defeat the insurgency on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and prevent terrorist safe-havens, have the spin-off effect of helping Pakistan to fortify its land borders and seacoast against drug trafficking and terrorists, support expanded regional cooperation, and encourages Pakistan to return to opium poppy-free status,” he said in the document released by the White House .
Obama notes that the United States Government support “focuses especially on upgrading the institutional capacity of Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies.”
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