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Doha Round negotiations 'Fully' resume; Lamy sees favourable conditions for deal

Feb '07
Six months after the Doha Round talks broke down in acrimony, trade diplomats have restarted negotiations in another push for a deal. "I am pleased to be able to report some positive news," WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy told Member delegations on 7 February. "We have resumed our negotiations fully across the board."

"Political conditions are now more favourable for the conclusion of the Round than they have been for a long time," Lamy told a session of the General Council, the WTO's highest permanent decision-making body.

"Political leaders around the world clearly want us to get fully back to business," he added, referring to his recent discussions with top government officials, most notably in Davos in late January (see BRIDGES Weekly, 31 January 2007).

The multilateral trade talks have been suspended since talks between six key Members broke down last July, primarily over deep divisions on farm trade. Officials in Geneva have continued to meet informally since then, particularly after Lamy gave the green light to a 'soft' relaunch of discussions in November (see BRIDGES Weekly, 22 November 2006).

With the full-scale resumption of talks, the negotiating bodies focusing on each of the areas in the Doha Round will once again start to meet regularly, under the leadership of their respective chairs.

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