Saudi Arabia says could consider Iraq debt relief

Posted in Iraq , Broader Middle East | 30-May-08 | Source: Gulf in the Media


Saudi Arabia is willing to consider alleviating debts owed it by neighbouring Iraq, a senior official said at a meeting in Sweden on Thursday.

Iraq and the United Nations are co-chairing a review of a strategy adopted for Iraq in Egypt a year ago.

Ahead of that conference in May 2007, Saudi Arabia said it was willing to waive 80 percent of the funds owed it by Iraq.

So far nothing has come of that pledge, but Saudi State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Nizar Madani told the assembled diplomats in Stockholm that the Saudi government might be prepared to rescind the entire debt owed it by Iraq.

Iraq has called on the international community, and particularly Arab states, to provide debt relief to enable it to focus resources on reconstruction.

"We are conscious that debt represents a burden on the economies of countries and in view of the circumstances facing Iraq we are ready to consider alleviating the Iraqi debts," Madani said in remarks translated by an interpreter.

"In this regard we have submitted all the available information to the Iraqi counterpart and we would expect the responsible Iraqi authorities to find an appropriate solution to this matter."