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Cablegate: France Unlikely to Grant Further Debt Relief to Iraq

VZCZCXRO3582
PP RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHFR #7302 3121537
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 081537Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2970
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS PARIS 007302

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EFIN EZ FR
SUBJECT: FRANCE UNLIKELY TO GRANT FURTHER DEBT RELIEF TO IRAQ

REF: STATE 181094

1. (SBU) Embassy raised reftel points on Iraqi debt forgiveness with
the head of France's Inter-ministerial Mission for Iraq
Reconstruction, Ambassador Jean-Pierre Guinhut, on November 6.
Guinhut said there would be considerable resistance to going beyond
the 80% forgiveness France had committed to at the Paris Club. That
Iraq is an oil-producing country had made it difficult to secure
initial agreement to debt relief. Going to 100% was highly
unlikely.

2. (SBU) Guinhut thought two issues were particularly critical to
ICI success: 1) prioritization ("operationalization") of topics
raised in the Compact; 2) Iraqi political leadership would have to
step up and make things happen ("DPM Salih must give orders now").
The ICI would have to bring about tangible results quickly in order
to give encouragement to the Iraqi people.

3. (SBU) Looking ahead, Guinhut said France likely would follow the
lead of EU partners in determining the level of GOF representation
at the ICI ministerial.

STAPLETON

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