World Trade Organization members have failed to reach a compromise on key tariff and subsidy issues after more than two days of talks in Geneva, Switzerland.

The European Union trade commissioner, Peter Mandelson, characterized the meetings as neither a success nor a disaster.

But India's commerce minister, Kamal Nath, called the meetings "a failure" and left negotiations a day early.

Talks are deadlocked over agricultural subsidies and tariffs in rich nations, as well as the refusal of developing countries to open their markets to more imports.

Ministers have asked WTO chief Pascal Lamy to act as a catalyst in bridging the divide between wealthy and developing nations.

The so-called "Doha round" of talks began five years ago with the hope of boosting trade to lift millions of people out of poverty.

Officials say they need to finish a framework agreement soon so they can work out a final agreement by the end of December.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.