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17 May, 2021 19:06

France and other nations to cancel Sudan's $5 billion IMF debt, with decision to be approved in June, Macron says

France and other nations to cancel Sudan's $5 billion IMF debt, with decision to be approved in June, Macron says

President Emmanuel Macron has said France and other rich nations will cancel Sudan's $5 billion debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a move the organization is to approve by the end of next month.

“We are in favor of an outright cancellation of Sudan's debt, which is as you know the most important among the Paris Club,” Macron told a news conference on Monday.

The president made the remarks after hosting a conference in Paris for Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the head of the country's governing sovereign council.

Conference attendees, including the UK and the US, agreed to wipe the African nation's arrears, with France set to follow its fellow lenders by putting up a $1.5 billion bridge loan.

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French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire also said Paris may approve additional funding if required.

Burhan said the cancellation of Sudan's debts was a “historic opportunity” for the country, which has been on the economic road to recovery since the military deposed dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

The African nation, which saw annual inflation pass 300% last month, has battled an economic crisis since 2011, when the oil-rich south of the country became an independent state.

The Paris Club is an informal grouping of 22 IMF lender countries, including the US and the UK, which stage regular meetings in the French capital to discuss how to assist debtor nations.

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