COLOMBIA HOPES TO GARNER US SUPPORT FOR COFFEE PACT

COLOMBIA HOPES TO GARNER US SUPPORT FOR COFFEE PACT

Colombia will press the United States to support a new world coffee pact during a drug summit this week in Texas, Colombian presidential adviser Gabriel Silva said in an interview.

Colombia has tackled its cocaine problem, jailing leaders of the Medellin cocaine cartel, Mr. Silva said. And cocaine trafficking from South America has been cut by 10 percent to 20 percent since 1990, he said.But the move has cost Colombia US$1 billion, and the country is looking for commercial compensation, beginning with a new coffee quota agreement, Mr. Silva said.

"We've kept our part of the bargain," Mr. Silva said, referring to pledges to cut drug trafficking. "Our attitude at the conference will be that we'd rather have commercial preferences than military aid." U.S. military aid to the area rose from $25 million in 1989 to $125 million in 1991 after a first drug summit, held in Cartagena in February 1990. Colombia received the lion's share of that aid.

Colombian officials also will press the United States to support a higher quota for its coffee than the old International Coffee Organization system, Mr. Silva said. Colombia has increased its share of the world coffee market

from 16.8 percent when the old quota system fell from favor in 1989 to 21.2 percent last year, according to the Colombian National Coffee Federation.

The summit, set for Wednesday through Friday in San Antonio, Texas, will bring together the presidents of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, Mexico and the United States.