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Booming Opium Trade Tops Agenda at Afghan Anti-Drug Conference

Members of the international community are meeting Wednesday in Afghanistan to reduce record-high opium production and illegal drug trafficking.

The anti-drug conference opened in Kabul with United Nations experts discussing the security threat that opium poses to Afghanistan and surrounding nations.

A U.N. report released earlier this year showed poppy cultivation reached new highs this year in Afghanistan, with nearly 95 percent of the world's opium produced in the country. The U.N. report also said the illegal opium trade drives instability by helping fund Taliban insurgents.

Topics on the agenda include ways to strengthen border security among Central Asian countries that are increasingly becoming a destination for heroin.

Last week, the European Union suggested some of Afghanistan's poppy crop should be used to make legal opium-based pain medicine instead of heroin. The United States and the Afghan government oppose the idea.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.