Indonesia Cancels 80% of Iraqi Debt

BAGHDAD, Iraq ~ The Iraqi government announced this week that it had reached an agreement with the government in Jakarta to cancel 80 percent of the Middle Eastern, war-torn nation’s debt, an official said.

The accord was based on bilateral agreements concluded since November 2004 between Iraq and other governmental creditors. In addition, the United States, Cyprus, Malta and Slovakia have each cancelled 100 percent of their bilateral claims against Iraq.

“Iraq welcomes the conclusion of another bilateral agreement with one of Iraq’s non-Paris Club creditors,” Iraq’s Minister of Finance Baker Jabr Al-Zubaidy said in a statement received by The Bali Times on Thursday.

“Iraq appreciates Indonesia’s constructive approach to reaching this agreement,” he added.

Iraq is in the final stages of restructuring all Saddam-era claims. In November 2004, the country reached an agreement in principle with its bilateral creditors comprising the Paris Club.

Indonesia marks the 51st country with which bilateral debt relations have now been resolved, including 34 government creditors that are not members of the Paris Club.

The total amount of claims against Iraq held by both bilateral and commercial entities has been estimated at more than US$140 billion.

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