|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
December 20, 2004
From the Treasury Department, 12/17/04
"This agreement shows our unwavering commitment to the Iraqi people and their efforts to achieve sustainable reforms and stability in their country." -- Secretary of Treasury Snow, at the debt cancellation ceremony, 12/17/04
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, Secretary of Treasury John Snow, and Iraq's Minister of Finance Adil Abd al-Mahdi signed the 100 percent Debt Cancellation Agreement between the United States and Iraq on Friday.
The bilateral agreement implements the United States' part of the Paris Club reduction agreement reached Nov. 21.
The United States went beyond the 80 percent reduction agreed upon at the Paris Club and forgave 100 percent of the $4.1 billion Iraq owes the United States from Saddam Hussein's era.
Debt relief is a major breakthrough, which allows Iraq to devote its resources to reconstruction. The debt cancellation also illustrates international support for the Iraqi government.