Afghan-Iranian Border Liaison Office (BLO) meeting in Tayabad, Islamic Republic of Iran

Photo: UNAMA/Eric Kanalstein: UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov (right), with Zarar Ahmad Moqbel Osmani, the Minister of Counter Narcotics of Afghanistan at the launch of the Afghanistan Country Programme in Kabul

On 24 September 2012, the first Border Liaison Office (BLO) meeting in the region took place in Tayabad (border between Afghanistan and Iran) between the staff of the Islam Qala BLO of Afghanistan and the Tayabad BLO of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The meeting follows an extensive planning under the Triangular Initiative which saw the Governments of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, with UNODC support, committing to establishing BLOs along their common borders. These centres are be used to promote the exchange on information on drug trafficking in the region.

The purpose of this first meeting was to introduce the BLO staff from both sides of the border and to hold preliminary discussions on the challenges faced in addressing drug and precursor trafficking between the two countries. In particular, participants were to identify mechanisms to facilitate the exchange of information and intelligence with a view to launching coordinated operations.

Following an examination of current cases interdicted in both Afghanistan and Iran, information on the activities and suspects was shared. At the conclusion of the meeting, a senior officer from each BLO has being assigned as the focal point for further information exchange. Both parties also agreed that regular meetings of BLO staff were essential and should be hosted on a rotational basis on alternate sides of the border. The next BLO meeting will be held in Islam Qala in Afghanistan during December 2012.

The Islam Qala BLO was established by UNODC with the financial support of the Government of Japan.