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China Forgives Georgia's $3 Million Debt

(RFE/RL) April 11, 2006 -- Reports from Tbilisi say China has decided to forgive most of Georgia's $3 million debt.

Georgia's Kavkasia-Press news agency quotes First Deputy Foreign Minister Valeri Chechelashvili as saying an agreement to that effect was reached today in Beijing, where President Mikheil Saakashvili is on an official visit.

Chechelashvili said that under the agreement Tbilisi will pay Beijing $400,000 and that the reminder of the debt will be considered a grant that Georgia could use to open a fruit juice processing plant.

Saakashvili today held talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao. The two men signed a friendship declaration and several cultural and trade cooperation agreements.

Saakashvili’s visit will end on April 15.

(Kavkasia-Press, Prime News)

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