Myanmar, US To Cooperate In Fighting Narcotics

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) -- Myanmar and the United States have taken a step toward closer relations with an agreement to resume cooperation in fighting narcotics after nearly nine years.

State television says the two sides agreed Thursday to restart joint opium poppy yield surveys and cooperate in counter-narcotics training.

U.S. Ambassador Derek Mitchell says the agreement is another step forward in the two countries' relationship.

The U.N. says Myanmar is the world's second-largest producer of opium after Afghanistan, accounting for about 25 percent of global poppy production.

The U.S. cut most aid for Myanmar's government after the military took power in 1998. But relations between the two countries have improved dramatically since President Thein Sein took office in 2011 and instituted a range of political and economic reforms.