EU’s new anti-terror programme to focus on Afghanistan, Pakistan

Brussels, April 18 (Inditop) The European Commission Friday announced a new three-year programme to fight terrorism, drug trafficking and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in Southeast Asia and Africa.

Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Sahel region in Africa will be the priority areas for the European Union’s (EU) 2009-2011 anti-terrorism programme, the EuAsiaNews reported.

“The European Commission has an important role to play in fighting terrorism by supporting capacity building in countries such as Pakistan and in the Sahel region,” External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said.

“In the area of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction our ambition is to consolidate the work already carried out in the former Soviet Union and focus more on new regions of concern such as the Middle East, South and South-East Asia,” she added.

The programme will also tackle the threat of piracy in critical maritime routes such as the Gulf of Aden.

With an estimated budget of 225 million euros (about $293 million), the programme is designed to address the broad range of threats outlined in the European Security Strategy and complement actions funded by other EU instruments and member states.