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U.S. expects debate on drug war at OAS summit

04-10-2012 10:35 BJT

BOGOTA, April 9 (Xinhua) -- The United States expects a "serious and constructive" debate on the war on drug trafficking in Latin America at the upcoming summit of the Organization of American States (OAS), U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Peter Michael McKinley said on Monday.

In an interview broadcast by Colombia's Caracol radio station, McKinley said the United States recognized "the importance of discussing the effectiveness of strategies to fight drug trafficking."

"We have to continue to seek ways to fight it" since drug traffickers were constantly upgrading production and distribution methods, McKinley added.

The United States, he said, "does not fear" a discussion of new strategies in the war on drug trafficking within the framework of the OAS summit, which is being hosted by Colombia, one of the region's largest producers of illicit drugs. The summit will mark U.S. President Barack Obama's first visit to Colombia.

"Currently, few are in favor of legalizing drugs," said McKinley. "What is to be discussed are the strategies to fight this crime, which will have the greatest impact.

While conceding some countries "are talking about decriminalization," he said that "what will be analyzed are the changes (in strategy),something we have been working on."

The United States recognizes the drug war as a "shared responsibility," he said, adding that as one of the world's largest consumers of illegal drugs, it is committed to reducing demand at home.

Scheduled to begin next weekend in the northern Colombian city of Cartagena, the OAS summit will gather more than 30 regional heads of state and government, except the leaders of Cuba and Ecuador.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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