, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 18 – The World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference in Nairobi was deadlocked into Friday evening as the deadline elapsed as disagreements over agriculture deals persisted.
Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed who is also the chair of the meeting said the talks were at a ‘delicate’ stage but there was no deal yet.
“We are very, very close. We are not there yet but we hope we will get there soonest so that the time that was allocated to this conference, we adhere to that and stick to that,” she said.
CS Mohamed who never wanted to get into details on the specifics of the stage of the talks, remained optimistic that there would be a Nairobi Declaration.
However, people had to wait for “a couple of hours.”
“If I had a cup of coffee here I would predict what would happen. But I can’t tell right now. We are hopeful it will be done in the next few hours,” she said without giving any timeframe.
She said the talks were still centered on disagreements on the agriculture section especially on export competition.
She added that the negotiations had seen some developing countries siding with developed countries, a shift from earlier positions. The CS also disputed claims of India dominating and blocking the success of the talks.