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G-8 finance ministers move close to Africa debt deal | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, SPA — Finance ministers from the world”s

wealthiest nations on Saturday tried to reach agreement on

a historic plan to immediately wipe out US$40 billion worth

of debt owed by the world”s poorest nations.

Britain and the United States want the Group of Eight

countries to immediately cancel the debts owed by 18 of the

world”s poorest countries that have already met strict

targets of good governance. A further 20 countries could

eventually be eligible for debt relief under the Heavily

Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, leading to a total debt

relief package of more than US$55 billion.

&#34The ministers are continuing to discuss the proposal

this morning,&#34 said Tony Fratto, spokesman for U.S.

Treasury Secretary John Snow. &#34We hope to achieve an

agreement among the full G-8 ministers but we have not

achieved that yet.&#34

Ministers from Britain, the United States, Italy, Germany,

Russia, France, Canada and Japan are also expected to

discuss other issues Saturday, including concerns about the

effect of high oil prices _ they remain around 40 percent

higher than a year ago _ on the global economy, the U.S.

twin deficits and sluggish European growth.

China”s inclusion at a breakfast meeting will also provide

an opportunity for U.S. and European ministers to press for

the Chinese currency, the yuan, to be floated _ they claim

it is overvalued, leading to floods of cheap imports.

However, debt relief remains the main topic at the

meeting, according to a report of the Associated Press.