Yemen will try to convince Russia to agree to a rescheduling of $1.2 billion (€1.3 billion) in debt it owes to Moscow, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Abdullah Al-Kurbi said Sunday, April 22.
"The debt question will be one of the issues raised by Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh this May in Moscow," Kurbi told AFP shortly before leaving for the Russian capital for talks ahead of Saleh's visit.
The foreign minister said Russia had already erased 80 percent of the six billion dollars Yemen owes to the Paris Club of creditor nations.
Yemen will ask Russia to forgive part of the remaining 20 percent, or $1.2 billion, and reschedule the rest, he added.
Yemen's current total foreign debt is estimated at five billion dollars, as compared with $11 billion in 1996.
Kurbi said Sanaa would ask Paris Club countries to forgive an additional part of its debt at its next meeting before year's end.
The Yemeni foreign minister, making his first trip to Russia since being named to the government earlier this month, said he also would discuss "the need for Russia to reclaim its role in the Middle East peace process."
The exact date for Saleh's May visit to Russia has not yet been decided. — (AFP, Sanaa)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)