Saturday, 15 September 2012 04:04
WASHINGTON: The United States kept Myanmar, Bolivia and Venezuela on its drug trafficking "black list" Friday, but said Yangon's recent reforms merited a "national interest waiver" to pursue aid there.
For the fourth year running, Washington accused all three countries of having "failed demonstrably" to fight the drug trade.
But President Barack Obama's administration noted that Myanmar, which has been blacklisted since 2002 and is the world's second largest cultivator of illegal opium poppy, has made significant strides this year in joining the international fight against illegal drugs.
Myanmar officials have already destroyed more than three times the amount of opium poppy lands as they did last year, according to the president's annual memorandum to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that helps set US drug policy.
The country has already strengthened cooperation with regional and international partners, and engaged with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
Nonetheless, "Burma's current counternarcotics performance is not sufficient ...