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Iraq Asks To Join World Trade Organization

13 October 2004 -- Iraq's interim government has formally applied to join the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The request was sent to WTO Director General Supachai Panitchpakdi by Trade Minister Mohammed al-Jibouri. Reuters news agency says a copy of the request was distributed to diplomats earlier this week.

Iraq was granted observer status in the 148-member trade group in February.

The application for full membership has to be accepted by the WTO's executive General Council before accession negotiations can begin. Trade officials said it was not clear when the request would be considered.