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WTO talks inconclusive, Nath leaves

india Updated: Jul 12, 2006 13:36 IST

WTO talks appear to be headed for a collapse and Indian Commerce Minister Kamal Nath is leaving the meeting, which has hit a roadblock after tough stand by developing countries on contentious agricultural issues.

"There is no need to pretend that this has not been a failure... I am willing to negotiate commerce but subsistence, livelihood and security I will not be willing to negotiate," Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said blaming the rich nations for the deadlock.

The trade ministers of 60 WTO member countries were meeting in Geneva to workout what is called modalities for negotiations on the contentious issue of agriculture and industrial tariffs so as to move forward in the Doha round of trade negotiations scheduled to be completed by December.

WTO Director General Pascal Lamy said the trade ministers were refusing to show any flexibility and engage in negotiations to cut farm subsidies and tariffs on industrial goods.

As the talks appeared headed for a deadlock around 100 developing countries including India formed a united front to defend the development thrust of the global trade talks.

Despite no headway so far, they were still optimistic that an agreement could be reached by the end of July. This meant there could be yet another Mini-Ministerial in a couple of weeks of the ongoing talks ending without an agreement.

"While I am disappointed I am still optimistic," Nath said summing up the progress of the talks on the second day.

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