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Friday, 30 November, 2001, 10:47 GMT
Morgan tackles drug trade at summit
Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern, British-Irish Council summit
Blair and Ahern will be present for key talks
First Minister Rhodri Morgan will attend a meeting of the British-Irish Council to address the problems of drug trafficking.

At the summit in Dublin, Mr Morgan will seek to find solutions to the problem in talks with UK prime minister Tony Blair, Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Scottish First Minister Jack McConnell and Northern Ireland First Minister David Trimble.
Rhodri Morgan, Welsh Assembly First Minister
Rhodri Morgan: Focus of drug trafficking

Representatives from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man will also attend.

It is only the second time the body has met since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement three years ago.

A previous meeting of the council was called off following the death of Scottish First Minister Donald Dewar and the stalling of the Northern Ireland peace process.

Steps forward in the decommissioning of IRA arms put the council back on track.

cocaine seized by customs officers
Ministers want to halt the supply of cocaine and other drugs

Mr Morgan will be part of the round table discussions on ways to tackle the continuing problem of drug trafficking.

The political leaders are due to issue a joint communique on a policy to stem the flow of drugs across borders and sea routes.

Part of the policy is likely to focus on ways of assessing the success rate of customs officers in halting drugs being brought through Welsh ferry ports.

Measures have recently shifted from traditional stop and search operations at ports to gathering intelligence on the movement and supply of drugs to and from Wales.

Nuclear protest

The Irish government is also likely to use the meeting to repeat calls for Mr Blair to halt nuclear waste reprocessing at the Sellafield plant in Cumbria.

Plans to develop an oxide processing facility led to Mr Ahern's administration placing a full-page advert in The Times opposing the project.

Following the council meeting, Wales's first minister will fly to north Wales, where he will attend the 30th anniversary of the Airbus wings plant at Broughton, Flintshire.

Mr Blair and Mr Ahern will continue in Dublin with separate talks, focusing on political developments in Northern Ireland.

Deaglan de Breadun, Irish Times
"This summit is largely symbolic, but symbols do lead to substance eventually"
See also:

22 Jan 01 | Northern Ireland
Anger over British-Irish meeting delay
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