Saturday, June 23, 2007

Report: China forgives $8 billion Iraqi debt

Left: Iraqi President Talabani arrives in China this week.

Baghdad, June 23, (VOI) – Iraqi Finance Minister Baqer Jabr al-Zubaidy signed an agreement with his Chinese counterpart on writing off 100 percent of Iraq's 8-billion-dollar debts due for China on the sidelines of a current visit by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani to Beijing.

"A big ceremony was held on the occasion attended by Talabani and Chinese President Hu Jintao at the People's Hall in China," the Iraqi finance ministry said in a statement received by the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).

Zubaidy had held several meetings with the Chinese side in Baghdad on the means to settle the issue of having China writing off the Iraq's government and corporate debts.

The decision makes China the 55th country to write its due debts off Iraq.
China, during the last donors conference in the Spanish capital Madrid, had pledged to assist Iraqi refugees, write debts off Iraq and offer 25 million dollar in financial aid to the war-scarred country.

From VOI