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Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Iraq Central Bank: Saddam borrowed from the whole world, we know not all of Iraq creditors
Iraq Central Bank said on Tuesday that Iraq Problem as to foreign debts is with trade creditors the number of whom is not determined. Iraq formed a Ministerial Commission in order to find means to protect Iraq funds abroad especially after the expiry of the US immunity from Iraqi funds at the end of June, the bank added.
Iraq Central Bank Advisor Mazhar Mohammed Saleh told Alsumaria news during an interview: “Iraq is taking serious steps in order to deal with debts issue and there is a step to be done in the future in this regard”. “Iraq wants to go back to the guardianship of the International Community and to put an end to some pending issues that would help Iraq to get out of the Seventh Chapter,” he added.
“UN resolution 1956 issued 15 January 2010 gave a 6 months’ time-line that ends June 30, 2011 to lift the protection of Iraqi funds issued by the UN on May 2003”, Mazhar Saleh uttered. “Iraq settled its engagements towards the international organization and the creditors whether they are members of Paris Club or not,” he added.
“Iraq problem is with debts from uncountable trade creditors who have judicial decisions to seize Iraq funds”, he source said. “Iraq is concerned over the private sector debts as of June 30, 2011 because they are not determined and it is incapable of estimating the volume thereof”, Saleh added.
The advisor denied news saying that Iraq asked to extend the period of time it has to protect its funds abroad. “Iraq did not ask for an extension and it is ready to protect its funds and to settle its debts with all the countries.”
As to the volume of Iraq Trade debts, Saleh said that “in 2006 Iraq started to settle more than 13160 trade creditors according to Paris Club. With an 80% discount creditors got their funds in cash and some of them took 20 year treasury bonds”. “Some of them insisted and others are treasure hunters. However, some others sold their debts the volume of which is still undetermined and will appear as of June 2011,” the advisor added.
The Paris Club is an informal group of financial officials from 19 of some of the world's biggest economies, which provides financial services such as debt restructuring, debt relief, and debt cancellation to indebted countries and their creditors. Debtors are often recommended by the International Monetary Fund after alternative solutions have failed.
Iraq Central Bank Advisor said that the Iraqi State is working in the framework of a ministerial Commission in order to find means to protect Iraq funds and there is statutory coverage to protect Iraq Central Bank and this protection shall cover Iraq funds under conditions”. The advisor added that there are plans to protect Iraq funds abroad.
A Ministerial commission including representatives from the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Finance and Central Bank set strategies in this regard and it shall present its report to the UN Security Council before the beginning of May 2011.”
As for the number of creditors asking for their money, Saleh said: “the former regime borrowed from the whole world. The number of Creditors among Paris Club was 19 and the number of creditor which are not members of Paris Club is 55 meanwhile the number of trade creditors is still not defined yet.”
“Iraq is ready to settle its debts according to Paris Club conditions”, the advisor said. “Iraq Ministry of Justice is defending Iraq rights abroad”, he added.
Saleh said that there is an issue regarding Iraq debts with the USA as to “damage claims” he said adding that 3 years ago US Congress issued a resolution asking Iraq and other countries to compensate US citizens which suffered from damages and got judicial decisions in this regard.
“A 400 million agreement was signed to compensate for those people. If Iraq pay it would get a presidential executive decree to protect its funds”, the advisor uttered.
As for the volume of Iraq money abroad and the debts ration, Saleh said that Iraq money consists of the monthly oil revenues, and Iraq Central Bank Revenues which are the reserves of the Iraqi people which are insured because the Central Bank is Independent and these funds are immune. “The problem is with the Cabinet’s funds which are considered trade funds. However, the ministerial commission took all these issues into consideration”.
As to money compensation Iraq pays to Kuwait, Saleh said that the compensations are of 53 billion dollars and Iraq paid 30 billion dollars thereof till now. “The issue of this debt is still ongoing and Iraq government is exerting efforts in order to solve it,” he added.
As for rumors about Iranian claims for compensation from Iraq because of the Iraqi-Iranian war, Saleh said “dialogue and good relations solve all the problems”, such Iranian claims does not exist, he uttered and added that he doesn’t know the aim of such rumors. “Iraqi people also have the right to claim compensations”, he replied.
Iraq has been under Chapter 7 sanctions since Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
The sanctions have never been fully lifted. Under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Security Council can take enforcement measures to maintain or restore international peace and security, in addition to the freezing of large amounts of its assets financial in the international banks to pay compensation to those affected by the invasion of Kuwait.