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Sun 13 May 2007 03:11 PM

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Mubarak: Egypt did not waive Iraqi debts

The Egyptian President has denied that Egypt has forgiven all Iraqi debts.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has denied that Egypt had forgiven all Iraqi debts to Cairo in comments published in a newspaper on Sunday.

Iraqi Finance Minister Bayan Jabor had told reporters at an international conference to pledge support for Iraqi institutions in early May that Egypt had agreed to waive Iraq's $800 million debt.

But Mubarak told Al Messa newspaper the report was inaccurate, and that no decision had been taken on the matter.

"No decision has been taken on this issue. These debts are not government debts... This is money that belongs to Egyptian citizens who had dealings with Iraq and the Iraqis," the newspaper quoted Mubarak as saying.

Mubarak gave no further details.

U.N. Secretary-General Bank Ki-moon said during the conference that donor countries including Britain, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Spain, Denmark and China had pledged to waive $30 billion in debts owed by the Iraqi government.

Mubarak also said elections for the upper house of parliament would be held on June 11. The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition group which is currently facing an intensifying government crackdown, has said it plans to field candidates for 20 seats.

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