NATO''s top commander and Afghanistan''s defence minister will urge allies Thursday to take new steps to crack down on the opium trade as the trafficking generates vital funds for the Taliban-led insurgency.

At the meeting in Budapest, Hungary, NATO defence ministers will hear a plea for a decisive assault by international forces on the illicit Afghan trade -- a source of some 92 percent of the world''s opium and heroin.

The 26 allies, in two days of informal talks, will also hold a first-ever NATO-Georgia Commission meeting at ministerial level, with Russia due to pull its troops out of Georgia by the end of the week.

NATO''s commander, US General John Craddock, will call on the ministers to lift restrictions on the way the fight against opium production is waged, and focus on "high end" targets like drug dealers and laboratories.

"The current counter-narcotics effort is not effective. NATO must step up to this task," Craddock, NATO''s supreme allied commander in Europe, said in Brussels ahead of the meeting.

"I''m not talking about crop eradication but about destroying the ability by Taliban to buy material for IEDs (improvised explosive devices), the ability by Taliban to buy the trigger."

But the move has met resistance from a minority of states -- notably Germany, Italy and Spain -- who fear such work could antagonise Afghan farmers or put their troops in more danger.