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02 July 2008
A payment of 360 million US dollars of Iraq's debt to the Bulgarian State was finalized on July 2nd.Bulgaria is the first country which has reached agreement on a lump-sum cash settlement of its receivables from Iraq.
"I am satisfied with the Iraqi side strictly honouring its commitments assumed in the bilateral debt agreement. Let me recall that Bulgaria achieved the relatively best parameters in settling the outstanding debt problem. I am grateful to our partners of the Iraqi Finance Ministry, as well as for the fruitful consultations with the US Treasury Department," Bulgarian Finance Minister Plamen Oresharski said after the Transaction.
Approximately one-third of the proceeds represent principal repayments, and two-thirds are due and overdue interest payments. Arrangements are being made for a visit by the Iraqi Finance Minister to Sofia at Bulgaria's invitation. "Other mutually advantageous areas of bilateral cooperation will be discussed during that visit," Oresharski added.
Baghdad owes at least $67bn to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
In addition to the $67bn in foreign debt, most of it incurred during the rule of Saddam Hussein, Iraq's executed president, the Geneva-based UN Compensation Commission says $28bn remains to be paid in compensation for Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
Iraq currently gives five per cent of its oil revenue to meet the compensation claims.
The Iraqi government maintains it should not be obligated to repay debts incurred by Saddam's government, which denied basic rights to its citizens, including say over government policy.
Al-Maliki had addressed nearly 100 international delegations.
He said: "We call on our brothers, friends and partners ... to commit to supporting Iraq's sovereignty and banning interference in its internal affairs and to end the international sanctions that were imposed on Iraq because of the previous regime and to write off debts."
At that meeting, officials from 50 countries promised to cancel $32bn of Iraq's foreign debt.