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Wednesday, 25 October, 2000, 00:26 GMT 01:26 UK
EU pledges $300m to Colombia plan

The European Union has pledged three-hundred million dollars towards a Colombian plan to combat drug-trafficking and end the country's long-running internal conflict.

Following a meeting in Bogota between EU representatives and the Colombian government, the EU spokesman Renaud Vignal said the aid would be directed at social programmes and would be kept separate from the plan's military component, which has substantial backing from the United States.

Many European countries have voiced concern that the American military aid will exacerbate the violence and draw Colombia's neighbours into the conflict.

Correspondents say the final donation is a disappointment for Colombia, which may have to scale back its plan or look for alternative funding.

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