Business World (Ireland)
December 17, 2004
The US is to write off Iraq’s debts to Washington of US$4.1 billion racked up during the regime of Saddam Hussein.
The debt write-off accord will be signed in Washington today by US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Treasury Secretary John Snow and Iraq’s Finance Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, according to a State Department statement.
“The signing of the debt cancellation agreement is the bilateral agreement that implements the United States’ part of the Paris Club debt-reduction agreement reached November 21, 2004,” the statement said. “In fact the United States will go beyond the 80 percent reduction agreed at the Paris Club and forgive 100 percent of the 4.1 billion dollars Iraq owes the United States from the Saddam era,” it said.
In late November, the Paris Club of 19 creditor countries, including the US, Japan, Russia and EU nations, said its members had agreed to wipe out 80 percent of the money it is owed by Iraq over three years.
Iraq owes the Paris Club nations some US$40 billion, about one-third of the country’s foreign debt.