Cablegate: Turkish Response On Trips Moratorium

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.



E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. 02 STATE 265619
B. STATE 26895

1. Econoff delivered ref B demarche to MFA and the Foreign
Trade Undersecretariat. Oya Karakas, MFA Head of Department
for Multilateral Economic Affairs, provided us with the
following response to Ambassador Zoellick's December letter
urging other countries to join the TRIPS Moratorium on
February 7. In his letter, MFA Yasar Yakis supports our
decision to declare a moratorium, but does not specify
whether Turkey will join it. Karakas told us the GOT
supported the effort to reach a multilateral consensus on
this issue, but that Turkey had not taken a decision to join
the USG in declaring a moratorium. The text of the letter is
reproduced below:

Begin text:

Ankara, 30 January 2003

Your Excellency,

With reference to your letter of 31 December 2002, concerning
the TRIPS Agreement and public health, I would like to
express my appreciation for your and your government's
efforts to find a solution to this issue affecting some
developing and least-developed countries facing a serious
public health crisis.

As we have previously expressed on various occasions and
particularly during the discussions at the WTO, we attach
utmost importance to this issue. In our view, public health
requires a particular attention and it has a certain priority
among other issues being discussed. It is our very sincere
wish to find a solution to fulfil the mandate of the Doha
Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health. Hence,
we are disappointed with the lack of progress at the WTO.
Nevertheless, we continue to look into the future with a view
to achieving consensus on this issue.

In this context, we welcome the decision of the United States
to declare a moratorium, while the negotiations are under
way. In this connection, I appreciate your assurance that
you will continue to work with other members towards
achieving consensus.

For my part, I would like to assure you that your proposal
and the points you have mentioned in your letter, will
receive my Government's due consideration and we will
continue to cooperate with you on this issue.

Yours sincerely,

Yasar Yakis
Minister of Foreign Affairs

End text.

2. We also confirmed that Turkey's Ambassador to the WTO
reports to the MFA, not to the Turkish Foreign Trade
Undersecretariat or the State Minister for Foreign Trade.

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