DUSHANBE, April 30, 2011, Asia-Plus  -- The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Drug Control Agency (DCA) under the President of Tajikistan began a new era of collaboration by signing a Memorandum of Cooperation between the two counter narcotics law enforcement agencies.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe, the document was inked by DCA Director Rustam Nazarov and DEA Regional Director Mark S. Destito on April 29.  The two agencies have worked together cooperatively to combat the flow of drugs into Tajikistan and to other regional and international markets since 2007.

The Memorandum of Cooperation will strengthen cooperation between the U.S. DEA and the DCA.  This new accord is aimed at combating organized criminal groups that have national, regional, and international connections, illicit drug and precursor chemical trafficking, and drug smuggling across international borders.  The agreement will improve the exchange of information related to combating illegal drug and precursor trafficking and will allow greater assistance in investigative activities.  The Memorandum will increase participation in meetings and conferences intended to foster an exchange of information, and provides for mutual participation in personnel training and law enforcement skills development.

The United States Government is committed to supporting Tajik law enforcement agencies combating illegal drug and precursor chemical trafficking into and across Tajikistan.  Since 1992, the American people, through the United States Embassy in Dushanbe, have provided approximately $900 million in programs that support Tajikistan’s democratic institutions, health care, education, and economic growth.