Sudan's President clarifies statement on foreign debt

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - Sudan has denied that President Omar Al-Bashir promised former US President Jimmy Carter that
Northern Sudan would shoulder Sudan’s foreign debts in the event that Southern Sudan votes for separation in the ongoing referendum.

President Al-Bashir's spokesman Imad Sidahmed said in a statement that the President actually said the debts should be cancelled
altogether within the initiative to write off the debts of the least-developed countries.

President Carter told an American satellite TV that President Al-Bashir had offered that the North will shoulder all the country's foreign
debts to allow the south to have a fresh start, upon secession.

Carter is in Sudan as part of a huge number of local, regional and international observers monitoring the referendum.

“President (Bashir) has expressed his view that division of the debts between the north and the south, upon separation, is useless as the annual
revenues would not be able to cover the debt services, and that therefore those debts should be written off, at once, under the initiative of
Heavily Indebted Poor Countries HIPC,” the spokesman said.

HIPC Initiative was launched in 1996 by the IMF and World Bank, with the aim of ensuring that no poor country faces a debt burden
it cannot manage.

President Al-Bashir has stressed that the debt burden would be the responsibility of three sides - Northern Sudan, Southern Sudan and the
international community.

The World Bank puts Sudan’s external debts at US$35.7 billion at the end of 2009, with over US$30 billion in arrears.
-0- PANA MO/SEG 11Jan2011

11 janvier 2011 09:24:31

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