Thailand Recalls Envoy After India Protests 'Dramatised Jibes’ At WTO Meeting
Thailand Recalls Envoy After India Protests 'Dramatised Jibes’ At WTO Meeting
Dramatic developments at WTO Ministerial as Thailand recalls ambassador over offensive remarks towards India. India takes firm stance on trade issue

In a major development at the ongoing WTO ministerial in Abu Dhabi, Thailand’s Ambassador to the WTO, Pimchanok Vonkorpon Pitfield, has been replaced and ordered to return to Geneva after a spat with the Indian delegation.

This decision follows reports of “dramatised jibes” during a meeting on February 27 at the 13th ministerial conference (MC), which prompted India to recall the Thai envoy. Sources indicate that the Thai Foreign Secretary is now representing the country at the ongoing ministerial. This comes as the WTO’s closing session has been extended, with talks delicately poised as the Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala striving for positive outcomes.

Tensions flared during a meeting this week after the Thai envoy made ‘offensive’ remarks about India’s use of Public Stockholding (PSH) for export purposes. India took offence to the tone and manner of the comment made during a meeting. “It was the tone used, which was offensive and this remark was followed by members of the Cairns grouping applauding the comment. Bharat took objection to what was said, and the manner, in which it was said,” sources revealed.

It was reported that despite its clarification that PSH export is not a standard policy, the matter escalated when India walked out of a meeting involving the Thai official. Sources earlier confirmed to CNN-News18 that the matter was raised with the Thai ambassador in India. The matter was also raised during a one-on-one between US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal. Sources say this matter was also.

India’s farmer and fisherfolk interests are being stressed at the WTO, with the government asserting that food safety and security won’t be compromised. On Wednesday, Goyal said India is a consensus builder in the WTO by playing a key role in the process but some countries are breaking that. He also said that India stands on strong principles of justice at the WTO and wants to ensure that all decisions taken at the multi-lateral body are in the best interests of India’s farmers and fisherfolk.

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