Iraq calls for Saddam era debts to be scrapped
Iraq's prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, has again called on neighbouring countries to cancel debt and compensation payments that date from Saddam Hussein's regime.
He told a conference in Stockholm to mark the first anniversary of the International Compact with Iraq, a five-year economic and political reform package, that the payments were holding back the rebuilding programme.
Iraq owes at least US$67bn (£33.8bn) in foreign debts, mostly to its Arab neighbours such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
Update - this is not surprising: Arab Nations Fail to Forgive Iraq’s Debts
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: May 30, 2008
UPPLANDS VASBY, Sweden (AP) — A United Nations conference on Iraq ended Thursday with a declaration encouraging debt forgiveness, but without commitments from Iraq’s biggest creditors.
Iraq has at least $67 billion in foreign debt — most of it from loans by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar during Saddam Hussein’s rule. The United Nations Compensation Commission says that separately, $28 billion remains to be paid for Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Iraq sets aside 5 percent of its oil revenue to meet the compensation claims.