Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, May 30, 2008

Iraqi PM pleads for debt forgiveness to no avail at U.N. conference

Thursday’s United Nations conference on Iraq included a plea from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for Arab nations to forgive Iraq’s mountain of foreign dept, saying it is hindering the country’s recovery, The New York Times reported Friday.

Iraq has at least $67 billion in foreign debt, most of it from loans by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, and Qatar during Saddam Hussein’s rule. Iraq also owes a separate $28 billion to Kuwait for damages incurred in the 1990 invasion.

While Iraq is expected to make tens of billions of dollars in oil revenue this year, Maliki maintained that his government should not be obliged to repay the loans incurred under Saddam’s dictatorship, as the denial of Iraqi citizens’ basic rights prevented them from having any say over government policy.

While the request for debt forgiveness was included in the meeting’s declaration, no promises to do so were provided by Arab nations.

For the full article, click here.


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