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Lamy concerned over WTO talks failure

Written by: Staff
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London, July 3 (UNI) Expressing concern over the failure of WTO talks, WTO Chief Pascal Lamy has announced an emergency summit of the six leading nations next fortnight to prevent five years of negotiations from failure.

''We are in a crisis after Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath left the Doha round of the Geneva talks mid-way,'' Mr Lamy said.

Head of Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign Celine Charveriat said that the ministers are leaving without a roadmap for July and it is impossible to arrive at a conclusion from this chaos.

Earlier, Mr Lamy was asked by the 40 trade ministers to hold talks with the G6 (United States, the European Union, Japan, Brazil, India and Australia) to convene a special meeting at the G8's annual summit in St Petersburg in mid-July.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has also been lobbying for six months for a special summit at which global leaders would take responsibility for breaking the deadlock in the negotiations.

According to media reports, UK sources said a meeting was possible in St Petersburg, or outside Russia - probably Germany - just before the G8 meets on July 15.

Mr Lamy would prefer a meeting of the G6 outside Russia, rather than involving the G8 - the US, Britain, Russia, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Canada - at St Petersburg.

Downing Street has reportedly held talks with the US President George Bush, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and President Lula da Silva of Brazil in an effort to move the talks forward.

WTO sources admitted that the talks ''were not heading in the right direction '' but said there had been some signs of movement, according to The Gaurdian.

The EU had indicated willingness to move on agriculture but made no firm commitment. Mr Blair believes the trade negotiators are incapable of striking the necessary bargains and that a political push will have to come from leaders.

Mr Lamy, is leaving for Tokyo tomorrow for talks with Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

UNI XC DKS ND1744

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