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Supachai welcomes input from 'The Five'

Supachai welcomes input from the Five as a key first step

Agreement among five key members on the agriculture text is a welcome and important input into the talks, WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi said on 29 July 2004. But he cautioned that no WTO agriculture framework deal is possible without support from the rest of the membership.

He was commenting on an agreement reached by ministers from Australia, Brazil, the EU, India and the US overnight 28–29 July, in consultations held outside the WTO.

Delegates from the five — which include representatives of other members, particularly the Cairns Group and G-20 — spent the morning of Thursday 29 July explaining their agreement privately to various other groups.

This followed a meeting of heads of delegations the previous evening when a number of members complained that they had been kept in the dark and warned that they would not allow time pressure to be used to force them to accept a text they disliked.

With progress reported on other areas as well, WTO members spent much of 29 July waiting to see the details in a revised draft decision, due out later that day.

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