NATO to expand counter-drugs training project

Counter-narcotics personnel training as part of a NATO-Russia project in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia will be expanded within the next few years, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Wednesday.

“We cooperate effectively in the area of counter-narcotics through a training project set up by the NATO-Russia Council (NRC),” he told reporters in Brussels, where he met with Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon.

“The project has trained over 2,500 counter-narcotics personnel from across the region, including over 300 officers from Tajikistan. And we look to expand this project in the years ahead.”

Rasmussen thanked the Tajik leader for the political and practical support for the international peacekeeping operation in Afghanistan.

The NRC Counter-Narcotics project was launched in 2006 in order to build regional capacity against the threat of drug trafficking. Twenty-one NRC nations are involved in the project, as well as non-NRC contributors Finland and Ukraine.

The training takes place at fixed training centers in Turkey, Russia and the United States, as well as on location in the region itself. The project is run in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNDOC), which acts as the implementing agency.