It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's trade deal with Washington removes its biggest hurdle to joining the World Trade Organisation but a European Union official said on Saturday the oil giant must still address EU questions over Saudi gas prices.
The world's biggest crude exporter signed a bilateral market access deal with the United States on Friday in a low-key ceremony which should pave the way for Saudi accession to the WTO by December -- 12 years after it first sought membership.
The OPEC producer has already signed a similar accord with the European Union. But that deal, signed in 2003, left two issues outstanding.
"One related to insurance, which has now been cleared up, and the other was on (gas feedstock prices for) petrochemicals," said Bernard Savage, EU delegation head in Saudi Arabia.
Aljazeera Free trade Agreement USA and Saudi Arabia
US Trade Representative Rob Portman said on Friday that the agreement reached between the two countries would provide new export opportunities for US farmers, manufacturers and service industries.
"We will see greater openness, further development of the rule of law and political and economic reform in Saudi Arabia," Portman said in a statement announcing the conclusion of the talks.
The agreement with the United States, the world's biggest economy, was one of the last major hurdles to the country's WTO membership. Saudi Arabia must complete negotiations at the WTO in Geneva on the formal document that will set the terms under which the world's largest oil producer will become a WTO member.
Finance 24 FTA
Washington - The United States reached a trade agreement with Saudi Arabia that clears a major hurdle to the kindgom's entry to the World Trade Organisation, US Trade Representative Rob Portman said.
Portman said the bilateral agreement provides improved market access for US producers of agriculture, goods and services "and sets the stage for Saudi Arabia to complete accession negotiations with WTO members".