World Bulletin / News Desk
Yemen has resolved a months-long spat with Ukraine that had threatened to derail its bid to join the World Trade Organization, the WTO said on Thursday.
The agreement puts Yemen back on course to join the world trade body as early as the end of 2012. That would make it the 159th member after Russia and Vanuatu, which will both become members in August, and Laos, which is finalising entry terms.
Every new WTO member has to bring its own laws into line with WTO standards and agree to open trade to satisfy every existing member. That gives every member an effective veto on new joiners.
WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell said Ukraine had agreed terms with Yemen, enabling the WTO's working party on Yemen's accession to hold a final meeting in late September. The wider WTO membership will then approve Yemen's membership package and send it back to Yemen for ratification.
Ukraine's tough demands on Yemen had caused friction at the WTO, where some diplomats saw its stance as going against the grain of a new push to make it easier for poorer countries such as Yemento join.
Three senior WTO diplomats were helping to facilitate the negotiations between Yemen and Ukraine, but Ukraine warned them earlier this month not to interfere in its sovereign right to negotiate withYemen and to demand lower trade barriers.
Ukraine's insistence on wringing concessions out of Yemen had mystified many WTO diplomats, since it does very little trade with the Arab country.
It had also earlier held out against Laos' membership, but the two sides reached a deal at the start of June.
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Volatility eased as traders focused on the world economy and corporate earnings after a week dominated by the dramatic spike in tensions over North Korea, which triggered a global sell-off before prices bounced back Monday.
Investors greeted the more conciliatory tone after US stocks dropped three days in a row last week on President Donald Trump's vow of "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to pursue its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
The ultra-conservative kingdom has moved to diversify its traditionally oil-dependent economy following a sharp fall in crude prices.
In its monthly report on the global oil market, the International Energy Agency said, however, that it believes the supply glut is easing, partly because demand is growing faster.
US stocks have been in retreat since President Donald Trump Tuesday issued a fiery warning to North Korea to halt its nuclear program.
The move by one of Japan's best-known firms greatly reduces the chance of an embarrassing delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index weakened by 0.5 percent to 7,503.39 points.
The approval by the European Commission comes just over two months after the European Central Bank -- which took on the role of the eurozone's banking supervisor in 2014 -- allowed the sale to go ahead for a symbolic fee of one euro.
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