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Iraqi President Calls For Debt Relief

Iraqi President al-Yawir (file photo) 9 September 2004 -- Iraqi President Ghazi Ajil al-Yawir met today with German leaders and renewed a call for Iraq's foreign debt to be forgiven.

Al-Yawir made the call during talks with German President Horst Koehler in Berlin.

Iraq has an estimated $120 billion in foreign debt. U.S. and Iraqi officials have previously called on Iraq's creditors to forgive between 80 and 95 percent of that amount.

Germany holds $5 billion in Iraqi debt. German President Koehler supported the idea of debt relief for Iraq.

"I believe Germany should play its role and use its influence in the international community to implement an aid concept which of course must include debt relief [for Iraq]," Koehler said.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has said that Germany is willing to write off some of Iraq's debt.