Arab states ask for Arabic to be official WTO language

Arab members of the World Trade Organisation are pushing for Arabic to be made a 4th official language of the global trade body, officials said.

Arab states ask for Arabic to be official WTO language

Arab members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) are pushing for Arabic to be made a fourth official language of the global trade body, diplomats and officials said on Tuesday.

"There has been a formal request made by Kuwait and members are engaged in consultations now," WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell said.

There are a dozen Arab countries among 153 states in WTO, and another six are applying to join, including Iraq, Algeria and Libya.

The Arab group is also pushing for the Palestine Liberation Organisation to get observer status as a prelude to membership when the occupied Palestinian territories gain statehood.

But the heavy cost of translation, interpreting and extra printing involved in adding Arabic to the three current official languages -- English, French and Spanish -- means the proposal is running up against resistance.

Adding three languages would cost about 45 million Swiss francs ($43 million) a year, the ambassador said.

Reuters
Last Mod: 27 Ocak 2010, 08:03
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