EU moots ministers push for Doha deal

Cairo, Nov 27 | Updated: Nov 28 2006, 05:30am hrs
The European Union has proposed that some trade ministers meet before the end of the year to revive a push for a world trade deal that is running out of time, EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said on Monday.

I have suggested that an early small group ministerial meeting is desirable. I would like to see that happen before the end of the year but we dont have agreement on that yet, Mandelson told Reuters in an interview in Cairo. A multilateral ministerial meeting would be the first specifically on the World Trade Organisations (WTO) Doha round of talks since negotiations were suspended in July.

Bilateral discussions have taken place between the major parties. Trade talks at the technical level have resumed in Geneva to prepare the ground work for a ministerial meeting. Mandelson did not say who he was suggesting should take part in the small ministerial meeting. High-level talks were urgently needed and a planned meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos in late January might be too late, he said.