‘Paris Club creditors agreed that they stood ready to engage on Iraq’s debt,’ the statement said. ‘They agreed, as a first step, to carry out a comprehensive assessment of Iraq’s indebtedness towards Paris Club countries. On this basis, they will review this issue in the coming months and follow closely developments on Iraq’s situation.’ The Club was responding to a statement issued following a meeting of Group of Seven (G7) finance ministers in Washington on 12 April which called for the organisation to address the debt issue.

It is estimated that international debt claims on the government Iraq could be worth more than $100,000 million, including unpaid interest accumulated since August 1990. Up to half this amount may be owed to Paris Club countries.