Iraq's Odious Debts

Jordan confiscates Iraqi assets to secure Jordan’s interest
July 16, 2003

Jordan announced yesterday it will use the Iraqi financial assets it has to pay due sums for the Iraqi traders who exported commodities to Jordan, and these assets to be returned back after fulfilling the due Iraqi debts to Amman.

Jordan’s minister of finance, Michael Marto, said in statements issued yesterday by local dailies that “these assets will not be transferred to any side before guaranteeing the rights of Jordan especially in regard to Iraqi debts owed to Jordan.” He indicated that the debts are estimated at USD 1.3 billion.

The Jordanian minister explained “that the official Iraqi financial assets owned by the former Iraqi regime and deposited at the local banks will be held until all financial rights of Jordanian traders and exporters are ensured.”

In March this year, the governor of the Central Bank in Jordan, Umaya Touqan, announced that the bank took several measures stipulating getting its consent before withdrawing any of the bank assets. He said that these measures aim at preventing “illegal use of these assets.” Jordanian banking sources said that there are 23,000 bank accounts for Iraqis in the Jordanian banks including accounts for the Iraqi government.

[PDFver here]

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