The European Union has teamed up with its erstwhile Caribbean banana war enemy Ecuador, in a fight at the World Trade Organisation over Turkish red tape impeding the export of fresh fruit, especially bananas. Formal talks are to be held at the WTO over the insistence of Turkey that importers secure a document, known as "Kontrol Belgesi." Ecuador claims that the procedure is a trade barrier which breaks world trade laws under GATT 1994, the WTO's Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, its Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures, its Agreement on Agriculture and the GATS, covering services. If the talks fail to resolve the issue, Brussels and Quito may launch disputes proceedings in Geneva.

By Keith Nuthall, correspondent