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Iraq Says It Is Committed To Repay Creditors, But After Embargo

September 18, 1991

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) _ Iraq says it stands by its commitments to creditors who lent it up to $65 billion before the Persian Gulf crisis, but that payments will not be forthcoming until the embargo is lifted.

Iraq is currently withholding payments because of world economic sanctions against Baghdad and a freeze on Iraqi assets in foreign banks, Iraqi Finance Minister Majid Abed Jaafar told the state-run Iraqi News Agency on Tuesday.

Baghdad is committed to settling its debts if the embargo imposed after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait last year is lifted and its assets unfrozen, he told the agency in a dispatch monitored in Cyprus.

Before the gulf crisis erupted, Iraq’s debt was estimated at between $50 billion and $65 billion. Iraq fell heavily into debt during its eight-year war with Iran, which ended with a U.N.-sponsored cease-fire in August 1988.

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