To pave the way for its entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), Saudi Arabia on Tuesday cancelled its long-standing economic embargo against Israel. Under the bylaws of the WTO charter, no member nation may impose an economic embargo on another member, which Israel is already. As a member of the Arab League, Saudi Arabia participated in a joint embargo on Israel for many years, despite its desire to enter the organization. During 12 years of negotiations with the WTO, the Arab nation refused to lift its embargo against Israel - until today. The Industry, Trade, and Labor Ministry said that in the near future a number of major international companies will begin business relationships with Israeli firms as a result of this lifting. A spokesperson for the ministry said that although the embargo's effects were minimal, the move still represented a major step that would encourage international investment in Israel and increase its exports.