UPDATE - Germany Pledges To Forgive Sudan's Massive Bilateral Debt

BERLIN (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 18th May, 2021) The German foreign minister said on Monday that Berlin stood ready to clear Sudan's 360 million euro ($437 million) debt to his country to help the African nation on the path toward recovery.

Heiko Maas spoke at the Sudan conference in Paris where Western countries are expected to officially launch Sudan's debt relief process.

"In order to implement political and economic reforms now the Sudanese government needs financial leeway. We are ready to wipe out Sudan's debt to Germany to the tune of 360 million Euros," he said.

Germany will also pay off up to $109 million in Sudan's arrears to the International Monetary Fund.

French President Emmanuel Macron supported Berlin's pledge, saying that Paris will also write off Sudan's nearly $5 billion debt.

"We advocate for the simple cancellation of Sudan's debt, which is the most significant among the members of the Paris Club. We support the annulment of the nearly $5 billion debt," Macron said at a joint press conference with the head of Sudan's Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

The French president also said that the Sudan conference in Paris was successful, as it created conditions for launching an initiative on reducing the country's massive debt.

"We have taken responsibility to allow Sudan to recover the debt. France pledges to provide a $1.5 billion loan," Macron said, adding that the process on reducing the debt will expected to be officially launched in late June.

The North African nation took on hefty debt after its military deposed longtime ruler Omar Bashir in April 2019. It owes the IMF over $50 billion and is eligible for debt relief under the heavily indebted poor countries scheme.