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Deal to boost global trade reached at WTO summit

Friday - 12/6/2013, 11:15pm  ET

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, left, talks to Uruguay's Vice Foreign Minister Luis Porto, right, and Brazil's Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, center, during the Ninth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Bali, Indonesia, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

Associated Press

BALI, Indonesia (AP) -- A deal to boost global trade has been approved by all 159 member economies of the World Trade Organization for the first time in nearly two decades.

The talks were briefly threatened at the eleventh hour when Cuba objected to removal of a reference to the decades-long U.S. trade embargo that Cuba wants lifted.

WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo shed tears during the summit's closing ceremony Saturday as he thanked host nation Indonesia and his wife, hailing the agreement as the first time in the WTO history's that it has delivered on large scale negotiations.

Trade ministers had come to the four-day WTO meeting on the resort island of Bali with little hope that an agreement to boost world trade would be reached.

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