Sudan's foreign debt totals $20 billion dollars, including $1.6 billion owed to the International Monetary Fund, Sudanese Finance Minister Mohamed Khair al-Zubair said Saturday.
Zubair was speaking at a press conference on his return from Washington, where the IMF earlier this week lifted a seven-year-old suspension of Sudan's IMF voting rights.
The IMF said Tuesday that the move was in recognition of Sudan's success since 1997 in implementing Fund-monitored macroeconomic reform programs and in repaying IMF credits.
Zubair said Sudan had received the support of 80 percent of the votes on the IMF's executive board, with the United States and Canada voting against it for what he said were "political reasons unrelated to the Fund's operations.
"This IMF resolution testifies to the positive results of the Sudan's economic management and to the country's sincerity towards repaying its debts," the minister said. As a result, he said he expected that international commercial, financial and economic institutions would be willing now to deal with Sudan. He noted that Sudan continues to pay down its IMF debt, 48 percent of which consists of accrued interest.
He also said that the ministry has set up a special agency charged with the responsibility of handling foreign debts.
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )