Netherlands opposes poppy destruction
Dutch Development Cooperation Minister says plans to destroy poppy fields in Afghan province of Uruzgan would be counterproductive.
30 January 2007
AMSTERDAM – The Dutch government will not participate in the destruction of poppy fields in the Afghan province of Uruzgan.
Partly at the request of the US, Afghan President Hamid Karzai wants to fight poppy cultivation because the Taliban uses profits from this industry to finance its armed resistance.
Karzai must first offer the farmers alternatives since poppy cultivation is the only source of income for many Afghan farmers, Minister for Development Cooperation Agnes van Ardenne, just back from a visit to Afghanistan, said recently.
She says destroying the crops would also get in the way of reconstruction efforts. It would destroy any trust in the Dutch troops in one fell swoop.
[Copyright Expatica 2007]
Subject: Dutch news