Iraqi president callsfor debt write-off

9th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

9 September 2004, BERLIN - Iraqi President Ghazi al-Yawer opened talks with German leaders Thursday by calling for most of his country's massive foreign debt to be written off. "This is the most important question ...," said President al-Yawer after talks with Germany's mainly ceremonial president, Horst Koehler. Iraq has about USD 120 billion in foreign debt with the Paris Club of creditor nations and Baghdad and the United States want between 80 percent and 95 percent these debts to be forgiven. Germany

9 September 2004

BERLIN - Iraqi President Ghazi al-Yawer opened talks with German leaders Thursday by calling for most of his country's massive foreign debt to be written off.

"This is the most important question ...," said President al-Yawer after talks with Germany's mainly ceremonial president, Horst Koehler.

Iraq has about USD 120 billion in foreign debt with the Paris Club of creditor nations and Baghdad and the United States want between 80 percent and 95 percent these debts to be forgiven.

Germany holds about USD 5.3 billion of Iraqi debt.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder says Berlin is ready to forgive debt under auspices of the Paris Club - but he has not named any concrete figures.

Following talks with Koehler, the Iraqi president was due to meet Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and Development Aid Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul before having talks with Chancellor Schroeder, who led opposition to the Iraq war.

Officials said the Iraqi leader was also likely to discuss rebuilding aid for Iraq and chances for German companies to do business with Baghdad.

On Wednesday, Schroeder told the German parliament he would stand by his pledge not to send soldiers to Iraq.

"What I have said remains valid: we are not sending troops there," said the Chancellor Schroeder in a speech greeted with strong applause.

Germany's main contribution to Iraqi security is a training programme for police recruits. Berlin, however, refused to allow police trainers work in Iraq and courses are taking place in the United Arab Emirates.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

0 Comments To This Article