Iran General NewsWTO accepts Serbia, Montenegro application, rejects Iran

WTO accepts Serbia, Montenegro application, rejects Iran

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AFP: The World Trade Organisation accepted Tuesday the separate membership applications of Serbia and Montenegro, but again rejected that of Iran because of US opposition. A General Council session of the 148 member-states unanimously accepted the separate applications by Serbia and Montenegro, which previously had made one single application.
AFP

GENEVA – The World Trade Organisation accepted Tuesday the separate membership applications of Serbia and Montenegro, but again rejected that of Iran because of US opposition.

A General Council session of the 148 member-states unanimously accepted the separate applications by Serbia and Montenegro, which previously had made one single application.

A work group set up a year ago to study their application was dissolved and repalced by two new separate work groups, the WTO said.

Member-states said the two former Yugoslav republics — now linked by a loose federation — were now sovereign states as far as their trade policies were concerned.

Serbia’s International Economic Relations Minister Milan Parivodic said his country’s WTO membership would be part of its overall policy of political and economic reform, parallel to its aspirations to membership of the European Union.

“It is of particular importance for us to become a member of WTO as soon as possible,” he told member-states.

The United States continued its opposition to Iran’s membership for the 22nd time in four years. Washington was criticised over its attitude by 15 member-states including China, India and EU member-states.

WTO membership negotiations can be launched with the setting up of a working party to which the applicant must submit a memorandum on its trade policy.

Multilateral negotiations can then ensue with parallel bilateral negotiations between applicant countries and any member-states wishing such bilateral talks.

In the case of China, which finally joined the WTO in 2001, the whole process took a total of 15 years dating from the time of the WTO’s predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

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