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EU Nearing Agreement to Support S. Korean, Nigerian Candidates for WTO Leadership

European Union(EU) member nations are nearing an agreement to support the South Korean and Nigerian candidates to lead the World Trade Organization(WTO).

Citing unnamed officials, Bloomberg reported on Sunday that EU envoys plan on Monday to endorse Yoo Myung-hee, South Korea’s trade minister, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former finance minister, in their bids to become WTO director-general.

According to one official, Hungary was the only out of 27 EU nations that withheld support for the two candidates at a Brussels meeting on Friday, but that resistance may be overcome at Monday’s higher-level gathering.

Last month, Reuters said the EU was committed to staying united in the selection process.

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Five out of eight candidates have advanced to the second round, including those from Britain, Saudi Arabia and Kenya. Two finalists will be announced after Tuesday while the new leader will be decided by November 7.

During campaigning, Yoo promoted herself as the best pick to help rebuild trust in the multilateral trading system and to normalize the WTO’s role in handling negotiations and settling disputes under a multilateral regime.

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