World Trade Organization to Accept the House of Saud

Boycott of Israel to be Lifted?
Aljazeera reports,

“The WTO’s ruling General Council, which includes all 148 current member states, approved Saudi Arabia’s application for membership at a special meeting[…]WTO chief Pascal Lamy welcomed the kingdom’s accession, saying it’s good for Saudi Arabia, it’s good for Saudi Arabia’s trading partners and it’s good for the organization.” By extending membership to Saudi Arabia “The WTO truly becomes a ‘World Trade Organization,'” Lamy said. “It is the world’s 13th largest merchandise exporter and the 23rd largest importer […] ”The kingdom must open its long protected economy to the outside world, including fellow WTO member Israel. Saudi Arabia’s participation in the Arab League boycott of Israel will thus need to be considered. Itzhak Levanon, Israel’s ambassador to the WTO, said Saudi Arabia had provided sufficient guarantees in its membership process that it would follow the WTO’s regulations, which include “not having a boycott against anyone else inside the organization.” “Such types of boycotts within the WTO are totally unacceptable,” Levanon told AP. “As soon as Saudi Arabia accepted all these rules, the door has been open for future relations when the moment is ready for that.” But Saudi Arabia’s assistant minister for petroleum affairs, Prince Abdulaziz, was less clear. “They are a member and we are a member. We are just there as members of the WTO. Nothing more.”

Full story.

One thought on “World Trade Organization to Accept the House of Saud

  1. This is a positive step. Political reform is much more likely after economic reform. The WTO needs to back up their rules. If they allow the Saudi’s to say the open trade rule is for all WTO members except Isreal. WTO will be well on its way to becoming as big a joke as the UN.

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