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France Calls for Antidrug Force In Afghanistan

7 October 2004 -- French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie called today for creating a separate international force for Afghanistan that would deal with the problem of illegal drug cultivation in the country.

Alliot-Marie wrote in an article published today in "The Washington Post" newspaper that NATO's International Security Assistance Force will not be enough to handle the problem.

She also said supporting the development of substitute crops would be necessary to combat the problem.

According to Alliot-Marie, 28 out of Afghanistan's 32 provinces apparently are producing opium, and employing more than 1.7 million people at this work.

She said more than 90 percent of the heroin arriving in France comes from Afghanistan.