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State Department Cites Progress in Colombia, Thailand on Illegal Drugs


The U.S. State Department has issued its annual International Narcotics Control Strategy report, hailing real progress in Colombia and Thailand.

Assistant Secretary Bobby Charles said President Bush has removed Thailand from the list of major illicit drug-producing or drug transit countries.

Mr. Charles also said while coca and poppy production continues in Colombia, terrorist events in the country dropped 42 percent in 2004. He said polls indicate that Colombians are increasingly optimistic that their situation can improve, after decades of civil war and drug-related violence. He praised President Alvaro Uribe for his tireless efforts.

The assistant secretary said Afghanistan remains a "special case," despite redoubled efforts by its new government. Roughly 90 percent of the world's heroine comes from Afghanistan, and the area under poppy cultivation increased in 2004.

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