KABUL, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Aid to Afghanistan should not be linked to progress on combating drug production, the Afghan government said on Wednesday, rejecting remarks by the United Nations anti-narcotics chief.
Despite government efforts at a crackdown, Afghan opium output has surged to near-record levels since 2001, when U.S.-led forces toppled the Taliban government. The U.N. says drug exports now account for more than 60 percent of Afghanistan's economy.
Antonio Maria Costa, the head of the U.N. Organisation for Drugs and Crime, said after a visit to Kabul at the weekend that aid from international donors should be rescinded if drug crops were not eradicated.
Afghanistan's Ministry of Counter Narcotics said in a statement that drugs were a global issue and the international community shared responsibility in fighting the problem.