Colombia Wants To Contribute Its Antidrug Experience To Afghanistan
By Dialogo April 06, 2009Colombia wants to contribute its anti-narcotics and counter-terrorism expertise to Afghanistan, a country of which Bogotá is supportive because both nations suffer from the effects of drugs and terrorist violence. This was said by Francisco Jose Lloreda, Colombia’s Ambassador to Holland, who participated in the conference on Afghanistan which was held in The Hague, and in which more than 90 countries and institutions renewed commitments to the Asian country. Lloreda told Efe that the contribution of Colombia to Afghanistan’s future "could be in the dismantling of mines, the fight against narcotics, and the support of infrastructure development." The Colombian ambassador said that Bogotá has maintained "for a year" talks with "various countries" aimed at, among other issues, obtaining sponsorship for specific projects geared toward the future of Afghanistan. As to whether Colombia would provide funding directly to Afghanistan, Lloreda specified that "this decision has not yet been made," but it has not been ruled out. Lloreda said that the situations in Colombia and Afghanistan "are different" but that both countries share the experience of being "victims of terrorism” and drugs. The diplomat explained that Colombia has accepted the invitation to the conference because "we felt we have something to contribute." He added that "the future of Afghanistan is not as far as geography shows it, especially in a globalized world where crime has no boundaries." On the objectives of the conference in The Hague, he said that the challenge is "to move forward on the precision of strategic issues" because the broad participation in the forum "has already confirmed the intention to reaffirm political commitments" to Afghanistan.