They have identified areas for joint action and resolved to continue their close cooperation

India and the United States have agreed to increase their collaboration in counter-narcotics regulation and law enforcement.

The two sides have also identified areas for joint actions and resolved to continue their close cooperation on this important issue.

The issue was discussed at the second meeting of the US-India Counternarcotics Working Group (CNWG) held on Wednesday.

Both sides exchanged views on the broad array of narcotics-related challenges facing the United States and India, said a Joint Statement of the US-India Counter Narcotics Group on Thursday.

They committed to a bilateral framework of policy engagements and expanded cooperation to help reduce the threat of illicit drugs in both countries.

The two countries committed to the sharing of data, best practices, and lessons learned, including details regarding public health approaches to address substance use disorder and other consequences of drug use within our countries.

Rakesh Asthana, Director General Narcotics Control Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, led the Indian delegation.

The US side was jointly led by Kemp Chester, Assistant Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Jorgan Andrews of the Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and General Jennifer Hodge, Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the US Department of Justice Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jen.

Participants highlighted their commitment to strengthening cooperation in curtailing the illegal production, manufacturing, trafficking, and distribution of pharmaceutical and illicit drugs, as well as the precursor chemicals used to manufacture them, the Joint Statement said.

They noted their respective efforts in combating drug trafficking in accordance with the rules and regulations of their respective countries and proposed to share best practices for countering synthetic opioids and precursor chemicals, it added.

The two sides also discussed initiatives in support of India’s regional leadership role in building capacity for counternarcotics initiatives in South Asia; countering regional cross-border drug trafficking and crime through enhanced sharing of operational intelligence; and expanding law enforcement cooperation on counternarcotics issues.

They also agreed to the sharing of expertise on dark-net, crypto-currency and postal/courier interdiction mechanism.

The two countries also committed to use of a sub-working group to establish a framework for bilateral cooperation to address the drug threat within our countries. They committed to continuing these discussions at the next CNWG meeting next year.