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Cablegate: Sierra Leone Signs Debt Relief Agreement

VZCZCXRO8785
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHFN #0367 1581721
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071721Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY FREETOWN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1139
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS FREETOWN 000367

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/W, EEB/IFD/OMA (DFREUDENWALD)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KTIA EFIN SL
SUBJECT: SIERRA LEONE SIGNS DEBT RELIEF AGREEMENT

REF: SECSTATE 73524

On June 7, the Ambassador and Minister of Finance John
Benjamin signed a bilateral debt relief agreement to cancel
100 percent of Sierra Leone's eligible debt to the USG
totaling nearly USD 58.3 million. In short remarks, Benjamin
thanked the Ambassador for the USG's commitment to help
highly indebted poor countries fight poverty. He said the
GOSL has over the last three months concluded similar
agreements with the Governments of Austria, Belgium, France,
Germany, Italy, and Norway and was in the process of
finalizing debt relief agreements with Japan, the Netherlands
and the UK, which will reduce the GOSL's external debt from
nearly USD 1.7 billion to less than USD 200 million. He added
that the GOSL was working to implement strategies to
strengthen debt management to be able to carry out
sustainable borrowing targeted at increasing incomes as well
as reducing poverty.
HULL

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