Italy writes off 96 mln euro debt owed by Serbia

Italy on Monday signed to write off a 96 million euro (127 million U.S. dollars) debt owed by Serbia.

The trilateral agreement on writing off the debt owed by Serbia and Montenegro was signed at the Italian embassy here during a one-day visit by Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D’Alema.

The deal also rescheduled the remaining 79 million euros (105 million dollars) in debt owed by Serbia, which contains a trade loan of 61 million euros (81 million dollars) and an aid loan of 18 million euros (24 million dollars), said Serbian International Economic Relations Minister Milan Parivodic.

The deal was part of a larger arrangement reached between the two former Yugoslav republics and the Paris Club of creditors in 2001 to write off 66 percent of the debt toward the creditors or a total of three billion dollars in order to help the two countries’ economic reforms.

Italy is Serbia’s third biggest trading partner, with a total trade turnover, which is expected to hit 1.8 billion dollars this year.

D’Alema’s visit and the debt write-off “represents a confirmation of good relations between the two countries,” Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said in a statement.

During D’Alema’s visit, he held talks with his Serbian counterpart Vuk Draskovic and Serbian President Boris Tadic respectively, regarding Serbia’s role in Europe, a solution to Kosovo’s future status and bilateral ties.

Source: Xinhua

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