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The decision was taken in the General Council on 27 July. Following
the normal procedure for negotiating membership, the General Council agreed
to set up a working party to examine Libyaĺs application, the first step in
the accession process. Libya first applied to become a WTO member in
The working party, whose participation is open to all WTO members, will
start its work as soon as a chairperson is appointed by the chairman of the
General Council in consultations with representatives of members and the
representative of Libya.
As an applicant country, Libya will also be an observer to the WTO during
the membership negotiation.
Ms. Najat Mehdi Al-Hajjaji, ambassador and permanent representative of the
Libyan Araba Jamahiriya to the WTO, addressed the General Council
immediately after the decision.
She said her country looks forward to WTO membership with the aim of
achieving economic development, diversification of its sources of income,
the attainment of economic benefits and the consolidation of good trade and
economic relations with WTO member states, for the accomplishment of
economic development for all.
Another 24 countries are now negotiating the terms of accession to the WTO.
General Council meeting suspended
Shortly after the decision, when the General Council had finished discussing
more routine agenda items, chairperson Shotaro Oshima suspended the meeting.
It will be reconvened when the informal meetings and consultations are ready
to present a decision on the
July package of
the Doha Agenda work programme.
The Libyan ambassador welcomes the decision (34KB, 640x417 pixels
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