A group photo at the strat of the G-8 Finance ministers meeting, in Lecce, southern Italy, Friday June 12, 2009. From left, first row, UE Finance Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, Japanese Vice Finance Minister for International Affairs Naoyuki Shinohara, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde, Italian Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti, Unidentified, UK Chancellor Alistair Darling, German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin; on second row, from left: Unidentified, International Monetary Fund's Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Bank of Italy President Mario Draghi, President of the World Bank Robert Zoellick and International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) Chairman Youssef Boutros-Ghal.The two-day meeting includes officials from the U.S., Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada, Russia and the European Union. The Finance Ministers' G-8 will set the agenda for a meeting of G-8 national leaders in July in L'Aquila outside Rome. (AP Photo/Ivan Tortorella)
TRIESTE, Italy -- The United States has announced a new drug policy for opium-rich Afghanistan, saying it was phasing out funding for eradication efforts while exponentially increasing its assistance for alternate crop and drug interdiction efforts.
The U.S. envoy for Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, told The Associated Press on Saturday that eradication programs are not working and are only driving farmers into Taliban hands.
Foreign ministers from the Group of Eight industrialized nations has applauded the shift, which will increase U.S. funding to agriculture into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Foreign Minister Franco Frattini of Italy, which is president of the G-8, says the new U.S. policy is something the G-8 "strongly appreciated."