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No WTO talks if govt loses trust vote

Yoshita Singh in Geneva | July 21, 2008 14:54 IST

Many of the 30 trade ministers apprehend that the crucial World Trade Organisation talks in Geneva may be suspended if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government does not survive the confidence vote in Parliament.

"Everybody is watching closely developments in India. If the government collapses, it is possible that they may wrap up the talks," a senior official said.

Those keenly watching the high voltage political events in India include the United States, the European Union, Brazil, South Africa, China and the WTO Director General Pascal Lamy.

Asked whether the mini-ministerial meeting convened to work out a final framework for completing the Doha Round may be called off for the sake of one country, he said, "India is important in WTO and there cannot be a deal without it."

If the Geneva talks are suspended, it could be blamed on the fall-out of the political developments in New Delhi. "It suits those who do not want a deal at the moment. At least, there will not be a blame game," the official said.

After a few bilateral meetings, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath has already returned to New Delhi for the confidence vote. The country would be represented by Commerce Secretary G K Pillai at the negotiations.

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