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G-8 nations huddle on terror, West Africa drugs

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The United States and its allies from the G-8 group of leading nations are meeting in Washington this week to improve international cooperation on counterterrorism and anti-crime measures, including moves to stop the use of fertilizer in roadside bombs and measures to combat the growing encroachment of Latin American drug cartels in West Africa.

The Roma-Lyon Group of officials are meeting Tuesday to Thursday, the State Department said in a brief statement.

The G-8 nations are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the European Union.

The United States is represented at the meeting by Brian Nichols, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs, and Anne Witkowsky, acting principal deputy coordinator for counterterrorism, who will co-chair the proceedings, the statement said.

Mr. Nichols' boss, William R. Brownfield, assistant secretary of state for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs, will chair a side meeting about the situation in West Africa, a region that weak law enforcement and customs institutions have made an increasingly attractive transit point for Latin American drugs into Europe.

The side meeting will include "key partners from the Western Hemisphere, Europe, and international organizations" in addition to the G-8 nations, according to the State Department.

The meeting was originally scheduled to take place in October but had to be postponed because of Hurricane Sandy.

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