print-only banner
The White House Skip Main Navigation
In Focus
News by Date
Federal Facts
West Wing

 Home > News & Policies > December 2003

For Immediate Release
December 8, 2003

Global Message

From a Coalition Provisional Authority briefing, 12/5/03

"The future of the Iraqi people should not be mortgaged to the enormous burden of debt incurred to enrich Saddam Hussein's regime. This debt endangers Iraq's long-term prospects for political health and economic prosperity. The issue of Iraq's debt must be resolved in a manner that is fair and that does not unjustly burden a struggling nation at its moment of hope and promise." --President Bush, 12/5/03

  • Former Secretary of State and former Secretary of the Treasury, James Baker III, has been named President Bush's envoy on Iraq's external financial obligations.

  • Reducing Iraq's debt obligations, sovereign debt and private debt obligations has been a high priority for the Iraqi Governing Council and Ambassador Bremer.

  • Iraq's Minister of Finance, Kamil Gailani, welcomed Baker's appointment. Gailani said the appointment will give significant momentum to the process of resolving Iraq's external financial obligations.

  • Iraq's total indebtedness is difficult to quantify at this point. The estimates have been as high as $125 billion.