Paris Club agrees to cancel Liberian debt

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The Paris Club of government creditors said Thursday it had agreed to cancel debt worth more than 1.2 billion dollars (963 million euros) owed to its members by the West African state of Liberia.

"Paris Club creditors welcomed the Republic of Liberia's determination to continue to implement a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy and an ambitious economic program providing the basis for sustainable economic growth," the club said in a statement after a meeting with Liberian government representatives.

Debt worth 1.26 billion dollars (963 million euros) that is to be cancelled represents the Paris Club's share of a World Bank-IMF poverty reduction programme for Liberia.

The statement said that in addition, creditors in the club had made commitments on a bilateral basis to cancel a further 107 million dollars of Liberian debt.

As a result, "the Republic of Liberia's debt to the Paris Club creditors will be entirel cancelled." The country's total public external debt at the end of June 2007 came to around 4.4 billion dollars, according to the statement.

The 19-member Paris Club, formed in 1956, is an informal group of creditor governments from major industrialised countries.

© 2010 AFP

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