Central American, Caribbean countries to establish regional anti-drug center.

Representatives from Central American and Caribbean countries agreed on Tuesday to establish a regional anti-drug center in order to tackle crimes related to drug-trafficking in the region.

The representatives reached the agreement at an anti-drug summit held in Bogota, the capital city of Colombia. They also agreed to hold a technical conference in El Salvador on Jan. 17, 2006, for the sake of drafting the guidelines for establishing the center.

The strategy of the center, including its goals, activities and responsibilities, will be formulated at the technical conference and they will be subject to the approval of states in the region, according to the agreement reached at the summit.

Representatives believed drug trafficking is a multinational threat, which has links with organized crime, terrorist groups, arms-smuggling and money laundering. Thus, it is of extreme significance to enhance regional exchange of information so as to further crack down on drug-trafficking.

Nineteen countries, including Mexico, have sent defense ministers or officials in charge of anti-drug affairs to attend the summit. Besides, representatives from the United States, France, Britain and the Organization of American States were also present at the summit as observers.

[Source: Xinhua, People's Daily Online, Bogota, 07Dec05]

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