Geneva [Switzerland], July 22 (Sputnik/ANI): Turkmenistan was granted observer status by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) General Council on Wednesday.
Turkmenistan became the last former Soviet republic to establish formal ties with the trade body, a WTO spokesperson said.
"Turkmenistan requested observer status. That was approved by the General Council. Under normal circumstances, you would expect that they accede (to the organisation's membership) within five years, but we still have to set up a working party for their accession and choose a chair. Not all working parties conclude within the five-year time, but the good news is Turkmenistan is now an observer and can participate in that manner at WTO meetings," WTO spokesperson Keith Rockwell said at a briefing.
The Central Asian country filed a request for observer status in May and expressed willingness to trigger the talks on accession to the WTO within five years.
Neighbouring Central Asian countries -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Afghanistan -- have acceded to the WTO, while Uzbekistan has been in on-and-off negotiations on WTO accession since 1994. The talks were resumed earlier in the month. (Sputnik/ANI)