» Thursday, October 5, 2006


Asked if the Prime Minister was optimistic about NATO’s ability to tackle the drug trade in Afghanistan, the PMOS said the journalist seemed to be suggesting that other countries were not involved already. There were thirty-seven different countries, which were involved, in different aspects. It was also important, as we headed towards the fifth anniversary of our involvement in Afghanistan, that we recognised the progress that had been made throughout the region. Our focus was on helping problems at the moment, but if journalists actually looked at Afghanistan as a whole there had been huge progress.

For example, the economy had grown, security had improved in parts of the country and there had also been cultural progress. If we looked at the issue of the involvement of women in education, you could see the situation had been completely transformed. It was important for people to look at the broader perspective.

Asked again about the drugs problem, the PMOS said that the drug issue was an issue of concern, but if this would be addressed by improving the security situation, which would allow an alternative economy to grow. Furthermore, the country’s infrastructure had improved, for example over 150 KM of canals had been provided in Helmand Province. Therefore, though the security issue was important, people should also recognise that huge progress had been made in other areas.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Search for related news

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