May 13, 2003
Bulgaria have not been demanded to discount the debt of Iraq, the country’s foreign minister said commenting on talk that the US wants Iraqi debt remitted.
On the eve of the visit of US Secretary of State Colin Powell to Sofia, Foreign Minister Passy stressed Bulgaria has also suffered a dictatorship but following democratic governments have never refused to serve the country’s debt.
“Iraq is rich in natural resources,” the minister said reasoning that it won’t be such a trouble to Baghdad to pay back what it owes to Bulgaria.
The US Ambassador to Sofia James Pardew confirmed that the debt issue would feature in the talks that Secretary Powell is to have Thursday with the top Bulgarian politicians. Iraq’s debt to Sofia was first discussed by Bulgarian Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg during his meeting with George W Bush prior to the outbreak of the war.
“The US recognizes that Iraq has a debt to Bulgaria,” Ambassador Pardew said. He also admitted that the issue is of great importance to the country.
The US envoy and Foreign Minister Passy held a joint news conference to announce the particulars about Powell’s oncoming visit on May 15.