BAKU, April 15 (Xinhua) -- The 36th International Drug Enforcement Conference kicked off here on Monday, bringing together law enforcement officials from around the world to discuss counter-drug strategies, according to the state-run news agency AZERTAC.
Co-organized by the Azerbaijani government and the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States, the three-day conference, whose theme is "Leveraging global partnerships," will search for new ways to combat drug traffickers.
In his opening remarks, Azerbaijani Prime Minister Novruz Mammadov said the fight against drug addiction and illicit drug trafficking are major targets of the country. "To that end, Azerbaijan has introduced appropriate state programs, streamlined the legal framework, carried out institutional reforms and joined relevant international initiatives," he said.
Ali Hasanov, deputy prime minister and chairman of the State Commission on Combating Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking of the country, said that Azerbaijan's geographic location as a key transit country between Asia and Europe makes it more attractive for drug traffickers. He stressed the importance of capitalizing on global partnerships to combat the illegal drug trade.
U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Lee Litzenberger said the country has been a key partner of the United States in combating transnational terrorism, which is so often closely linked with illegal drug trafficking. He commended the Azerbaijani government for its efforts to strengthen border control, customs procedures and maritime security to combat drug trafficking.
The International Drug Enforcement Conference is a critical platform for law enforcement agencies from around the world to develop operational strategies that can be used against international drug traffickers.