WTO Thanks Morocco for its Assistance to Iraq in its Accession Process to the Organization

MAP - Publié le Jeudi 28 Janvier 2021 à 12:54

Geneva - The World Trade Organization (WTO) has commended the Moroccan presidency of Iraq's accession process to the Organization, while thanking the Kingdom for its technical assistance provided to Iraq in this process. In this regard, Ambassador Omar Hilale, Chairman of the Working Group on Iraq's Accession to the WTO, held several meetings in Geneva with stakeholders within the Organization in order to advance the negotiation process on Iraq's accession. These meetings and talks, held on January 25-27, are part of the continuity of the progress made in the reactivation of the said process, during the month of August 2020. On this occasion, Mr. Hilale briefed the Member States and the various stakeholders on the progress of the issue, following his various meetings with the Iraqi minister of Trade, Alaa Ahmed Hassan Al-Jibouri, on the measures taken by the Iraqi authorities for the preparation of technical documents, administrative reforms and answers to questions from WTO members. During his meeting with the Chairman of the Working Group, the Iraqi minister of Trade expressed to him the thanks of the Iraqi government for the offer of the Moroccan ministry of Trade to organize, virtually in the coming weeks, a training workshop on multilateral negotiation techniques and on WTO law for the benefit of the Iraqi negotiating team, like the one organized in Rabat in June 2018 for the benefit of Iraqi experts.

Mr. Al-Jibouri also reaffirmed to Mr. Hilale the strategic choice of Iraq to join the WTO and to accelerate, to this end, the finalization of all documents and responses required by the Working Group. For his part, Mr. Hilale assured the Iraqi minister of Morocco's commitment to actively pursue its efforts to accelerate and support Iraq in its negotiations, as well as of the Kingdom's political and technical support in these negotiations. In this regard, both the Secretariat of the organization and the various members welcomed the offer of Moroccan technical assistance and training and thanked the Kingdom for the support to this process and to the multilateral trading system under the WTO. Hilale also held talks with Deputy Director General Alan Wolff and Director of the Accessions Division Maika Oshikawa on the various technical aspects of the negotiation process.

During this meeting, they discussed the possibility of organizing a virtual meeting at the ministerial level with the participation of the main members involved in this process as well as representatives of international financial organizations. This virtual ministerial meeting will provide an opportunity to provide political momentum aimed at accelerating the negotiations of this process. In this perspective, Mr. Hilale had a virtual working session with the President of the Arab Monetary Fund, Abderrahman Alhamudy, who assured him of the Fund's support to the negotiation process chaired by Morocco and described as relevant and useful the proposal to organize a regional conference at the ministerial level dedicated to Iraq's accession in order to mobilize regional and international support for this accession. For their part, the representatives of the World Bank, both in Baghdad and Washington, welcomed this initiative and pledged to contribute to ensure its success.

Mr. Hilale thanked all his interlocutors for the support and commitment to accelerate Iraq's accession to the WTO, voiced by the various member of the Organization, including the Representative of the European Union, Saudi Arabia in its capacity as coordinator of the Arab Group at the WTO, the Permanent Representatives of Russia, Switzerland as well as the representatives of the World Bank. These delegations reiterated the importance and the positive impact of this accession on the progress of trade and legal reforms which are essential for the economic integration of Iraq into regional and world trade.

Source : https://www.marocafrik.com/english/WTO-Thanks-Moro...

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