Egypt, Iraq sign agreement on owed remittances

Egypt and Iraq said that they are putting the final touches on a deal for a compensation package estimated at US$1 billion for Egyptian workers who were not paid remittances during Iraq's 1990-1991 invasion of Kuwait, the two countries’ Foreign Ministers said on Sunday.

Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr signed an agreement with his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari, whereby the dues of the Egyptians who lived in Iraq would be transferred immediately, State TV reported on Sunday.

“We are committed to disbursing all the dues of the ‘yellow remittances,’” said Zebari.

“Yellow remittances” refer to the debt owed by Iraq to Egyptian workers who fled Iraq during the First Gulf War.

The two countries have been trying to resolve the issue, which involves about 637,000 Egyptians, since Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003. The row focuses on about $544 million in interest on an original $408 million owed to Egyptian workers.

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