» Friday, November 16, 2007

Opium growth in Afghanistan

Asked if it was the Government’s policy to destroy crops, the PMS said it was part of the Government’s strategy in Afghanistan to deal with the opium issue. In terms of forward planning, the Prime Minister had said that he would be making a statement to the House of Commons on Afghanistan issues generally, and that would happen within the next couple of weeks.

Asked about the idea of paying farmers money, the PMS said it was best to wait until the Prime Minister had given his statement to the House of Commons for any announcements on that subject.

Put that the Americans had been pushing the British to do more to destroy crops and asked what the Prime Minister’s view was, the PMS said that the Prime Minister’s view was that we had to work closely with communities in terms of dealing with this problem. It was best to go to the Foreign Office for the definitive position.

Asked if the Prime Minister was opposed to aerial spraying, the PMS said that you had to consider all of the options, but it was important that we worked alongside local communities to find a solution to the problem involved in opium growing in Afghanistan.

Asked if there was agreement with Lord Malloch-Brown that the only people who agreed with aerial spraying were the Americans, the PMS said that he had not seen that particular comment from Lord Malloch-Brown.

Asked if the Prime Minister would consider the case for licensing the opium trade, the PMS said, as he had said before, the Prime Minister would report to the House of Commons on the Government’s future strategy in Afghanistan in the next few weeks.

original source.

Briefing took place at 16:45 | Search for related news

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