Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Saudis write off most of Iraq's debt to them...depending on how you figure it

Kiss, Kiss....and now, my other cheeks, infidel!

Part of what Dubbyah and Condi bought by giving aid to Palestinian terrorists and coming up with US visas for up to 25,000 Iraqi Sunni refugees in a direct violation of US law surfaced today as the Saudis agreed to write off 80 percent of Iraq's Debt to them, something the Bush Administration has been working at for some time.

They agreed to forgive 80 percent of the more than $15 billion that Iraq owes them from the Saddam era. Up to now the Saudis have been unwilling to kick in any major aid for the Shiite government in Iraq.

But Iraqi Finance Minister Bayan Jabr said in an interview that Russia was holding out on debt forgiveness until Iraq talks to them about concessions and contracts that Russian oil and gas companies had under Saddam Hussein.

Back in 2003, Vladimir Putin announced that he would cancel 65 percent of Iraq's debt to Russia, and as little as fiver months ago Jabr said the Russians agreed to cancel 80 percent. But Iraq's ambassador to the United States, Samir Sumaidaie, said Russian officials aren't planning to honor that pledge.

"They said that discussions would be based on economic relations," the ambassador said. "Those are code words for whether we let them continue with their oil contracts."

Iraq and Saudi Arabia also don't agree on how much money Iraq owes them. During the early 1980s, Saudi Arabia sold $7 billion worth of oil on Iraq's behalf and lent Saddam an additional $9 billion.

Jabr said Saudi officials told him that unpaid interest brought that amount up to $39 billion; Jabr says the original agreements said no interest would be owed.

So much for the Islamic prohibition against interest and usury, eh King Abdullah?

This latest arrangement, of course, could also be a part of the arrangement made in Riyadh between Iran and the Saudis as part of their new friendship.

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