We reported last month that Iraqi Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Mahmoud al-Sheikh Radhi, had rejected the idea that Iraq should join the World Trade Organization (WTO); now a source in the outgoing Iraqi government said on Monday that Iraq is in negotiations to become a member.
An Iraqi task force was established in December 2004 to pave the way for the country’s membership in the organization, and it has officially submitted a request to the WTO expressing Iraq’s desire to join the organization.
“Iraq has taken big steps in its efforts to join the WTO especially after talks were held with the member states in the organization,” said Ibrahim Zenjili, a member of the task force, according to a report from AKnews.
He said the main duties of the task force are reducing the difference of value between the Iraqi Dinar and U.S. dollar and activating Iraq’s private sector.
Zenjili said the major condition set by the member states of the WTO for Iraq to join the organization is Iraq’s foreign debt - the country owes billions of dollars to various countries.
Established in 1995, the WTO deals with the rules of trade between nations. It currently has 153 members.