Brazil's Roberto Azevedo will be next WTO director-general

Geneva, May 7 (EFE).- Brazilian diplomat Roberto Azevedo will be the new director-general of the World Trade Organization, or WTO, Brazilian and Mexican diplomats said Tuesday.

Azevedo will succeed WTO director-general Pascal Lamy, of France, on Sept. 1.

The Brazilian candidate beat out Herminio Blanco, a former Cabinet secretary who was Mexico's lead negotiator in the talks that led to the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.

Azevedo was the choice of the WTO's 159 members, who held private talks to determine who the next head of the multilateral trade organization would be.

Blanco called Azevedo and congratulated him, Brazilian diplomats told Efe.

"Despite the fact that the outcome is confidential until tomorrow, it has been learned that Ambassador Azevedo received the greatest consensus among all the member (countries) to the the new director-general," Brazilian diplomats in Geneva said, citing a Foreign Ministry statement.

The 55-year-old Azevedo is a respected diplomat who has spent most of his career dealing with economic and trade matters.

Azevedo has been Brazil's ambassador to the WTO for the past five years.