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Senate approves Afghanistan-related 7 WTO draft laws

Senate approves Afghanistan-related 7 WTO draft laws

Jul 27, 2016 - 17:31

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Meshrano Jirga or upper house of parliament on Wednesday held an extraordinary session and approved seven draft laws of the World Trade Organization (WTO), consolidating Afghanistan’s membership of the organization.

Fahad Sakhi, first deputy chairman who chaired the session, said the Meshrano Jirga held the session under Article 107 of the Constitution and at the president’s request.

The Article says: “The National Assembly shall hold two regular sessions annually. The term of both regular sessions shall be nine months every year, and when needed, the Assembly shall extend its term.”

“Extraordinary sessions of the Assembly during recess shall be convened by Presidential order,” it adds.

Meshrano Jirga secretary Najiba Hussaini said if the WTO draft laws were not approved, Afghanistan’s membership of the group would be suspended for the next five years.

She said the president had requested an extraordinary Senate session to approve the laws before an Afghan delegation visited the WTO headquarters next week.

Ghulam Nabi Farahi, the parliamentary affairs minister, welcomed the president’s request for holding the meeting about approval of the draft laws.

The minister told the lawmakers that the laws had already been passed by the Wolesi Jirga or lower house and hoped the upper house would also endorse them.

The senators approved all of the laws without suggesting any amendment to any part.

The WTO finally accepted Afghanistan membership in November 2015.

According to Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the WTO has set Afghanistan July 2016 the deadline to process legal procedures for its membership.