U.S. writes off $108 mln of Afghan gov't debt

22:10, July 22, 2010      

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The Afghan government and the Untied States on Thursday signed a debt relief agreement that cancels 108 million U.S. dollars which is 100 percent of Afghanistan's existing debt with the United States of America.

Afghan Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry inked the agreement on behalf of their governments.

In his remarks after signing the agreement, the U.S. ambassador described the move as important for the war-shattered Afghanistan, saying "Debt relief is crucial to Afghanistan's broader poverty reduction program, it will allow the Afghan government to spend more of its resources in such sectors as health and education which improves the living condition of the Afghan people."

Hailing the initiative, the Afghan finance minister said that the agreement was part of a process that begun in 2007, when Afghanistan first begun its debt relief program under the International Monetary Fund (IFM) and the World Bank' Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC). "Afghanistan's debt relief under HIPC is an important element of a broader international debt relief program that will ultimately forgive some 11 billion U.S. dollars approximately 96 percent of the war-battered country's external debt," Afghan finance minister said.

Source: Xinhua


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