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Uzbekistan: Conference On Drugs Opens In Tashkent

Tashkent, 19 October 2000 (RFE/RL) - An international conference on fighting drugs and Islamic militancy in Central Asia starts today in Tashkent. Representatives from some 70 countries and 40 international organizations are due to participate in the two-day event, which was organized by the United Nations and the OSCE. Pino Arlachi, UN undersecretary-general in charge of drug control and the prevention of crime, said the delegates will discuss methods to jointly combat the trafficking of narcotics, terrorism, and organized crime. The meeting comes amid mounting instability in Central Asia, which has been shaken by an influx of Islamic extremist groups and drug traffickers.