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US to urge global action on killer drug fentanyl

WASHINGTON, United States, March 16 ------ The United States will call for global action on synthetic drugs including fentanyl, which has killed thousands of Americans, at a UN conference, the State Department said. 


Secretary of State Antony Blinken will warn of a threat "not just to the United States, but to all nations," when he addresses the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters Thursday. The US has been ravaged by the powerful opioid fentanyl in recent years, with tens of thousands of deaths attributed to the drug each year. "This administration has made it a top priority to address the fentanyl and synthetic drug crisis," Miller said. He added that Blinken would look to secure concrete commitments to address synthetic drugs fuelling a public health crisis. The US set up a coalition to combat synthetic drug threats last year, and it now features 149 countries. Washington officials have notably been putting pressure on China, one of the primary source countries for fentanyl, along with Mexico. In early February, a US delegation met with Beijing officials to discuss the issue. 


Blinken will also visit South Korea on Monday to take part in the Summit for Democracy, amid US efforts to bolster relations with Asian countries to counter China's influence. He will then travel to the Philippines capital Manila on Tuesday to "reaffirm our unwavering commitment to our Philippine ally," said Miller. The visit will involve meetings with President Ferdinand Marcos focused on the threats posed by China in the region. 




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