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