The appellate body of the World Trade Organisation’s dispute settlement procedure has called on the United States and Malaysia to bury the hatchet over the long-running shrimp-turtle case and stop arguing over whether either party has complied with an earlier ruling.

Calling on Washington and Kuala Lumpur to “cooperate fully…to conclude as soon as possible an agreement,” it said that a deal should be struck on the use of turtle excluder devices in shrimp nets, taking local conditions into account.

In its ruling, following a complaint by Malaysia about remaining US shrimp import controls, the body confirmed that although Washington was technically still in breach of an earlier ruling on the restrictions, these could remain while efforts to find a solution to the problem continued.

By Keith Nuthall, correspondent