Antigua-Barbuda and Kuwait sign new debt servicing agreement

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Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne and first deputy prime minister, minister of foreign affairs and chairman of the board for the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, met on Monday and signed off on a new financial arrangement to service Antigua and Barbuda’s debt to the fund.

During the discussions Sabah signaled his country’s delight in reengaging Antigua and Barbuda and expressed happiness from the members of the board of the fund that Antigua and Barbuda is taking a bold step in reengaging the fund. The chairman also indicated that Antigua and Barbuda can now begin to explore ways in seeking more partnership with the fund and invited the prime minister to seriously consider this proposal

Browne said that he welcomed the opportunity to rebuild strong ties with Kuwait and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.

“By being here today it shows Antigua and Barbuda’s commitment to rebuilding friendships and reestablishing trust, which was a key principle in his election campaign. One of my government’s priorities is to correct past wrongs, fulfill past obligations and set Antigua and Barbuda on a better path,” he said.

The prime minister thanked the chairman for the invitation for Antigua and Barbuda to reengage the fund; however, he cautioned that Antigua and Barbuda’s reengagement will be based on partnerships and investments that have tangible benefits for Antigua and Barbuda without incurring additional national debts.

Discussions were held on the possibility of Kuwait assisting with a sewage system for St John’s and both parties agreed that these talks will begin in Lima, Peru, in October during the annual IMF meeting.

Browne also used the opportunity to invite the chairman to pay a visit to Antigua and Barbuda.

The new agreement signed will see Antigua and Barbuda making twice yearly payments on the outstanding debt to the Kuwait Fund and it also paves the way for the reengagement of the Fund in Antigua and Barbuda and opens avenues for the formulation of measures for debt relief.

The Kuwait Fund has provided loans to Antigua and Barbuda for the construction and renovation of the parallel taxiway at the airport, All Saints Road rehabilitation and the American Road to Airport road construction.

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