Iraq's external debt is estimated between $100 and $120 billion, according to US Under Secretary for International Affairs, John Taylor. The latest available information indicates that Paris Club members are owed roughly $40 billion, $21 billion in principal and roughly an equivalent amount in late interest, he said.
At a recent testimony before a Senate Banking subcommittee, Taylor said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has polled non-Paris Club governments and, as of September 10, reports creditor claims of $28 billion in principal and interest. Since 20 governments have yet to respond to the IMF poll, this figure is likely to increase, reported Washington File.
Taylor said that a plan to move to a new unified currency, which would replace both Saddam and Swiss dinars at fixed rates, is also on track. The exchange period will last from October 15 to January 15, 2003.
He stated that the US Bush administration will continue to work with other creditors on a substantial restructuring of Iraq's external debt and that reconstruction will cost between $50 and $70 billion. — (menareport.com)
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