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Islamic Bank Mulling to Extend Payment Deadline for Yemen Debt | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Women loyal to the Houthis hold up weapons as they take part in a parade to show support to the insurgents in Sana’a, Yemen September 7, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Riyadh-The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) is moving towards approving a request to extend the payment of debts of some institutions in the Yemeni Republic due to the ongoing war in the country, the Houthi rebels’ control of the public sector and the looting of the Central Bank and its reserves, Asharq Al-Awsat learned on Sunday.

A high-ranking Yemeni source said that former Yemeni Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Dr. Mohammed al-Maytami met last week in Jeddah with president of the IDB, Dr. Bandar Hajjar, to update him on the current situation in Yemen, where bank institutions are demanding that mature debts be paid at due time.

The IDB is an international Islamic financial institution based in Saudi Arabia.

The source, who wished to remain anonymous, said that Maytami officially asked Hajjar to postpone the payment. “The response of Dr. Hajjar was very positive. He asked his team at the bank to execute what Maytami had requested,” the source said.

However, the source refused to specify the amount of the total mature debts currently owed to the IDB.

According to the source, the Yemeni side had signed a joint agreement with the IDB to support development projects in Yemen, after the war there had caused the collapse and destruction of many institutions.

“When peace prevails, Yemen will find itself unable to have stability due to the absence of effective institutions capable of supporting a peace plan. Therefore, the agreement with the IDB was signed to offer a project worth $7 million to support state and private institutions in Yemen,” the source added.

Maytami also asked the president of the IDB to expand its projects in Yemen, particularly in the fields of fighting poverty and unemployment, which had largely widened during the war.