U.S. Delays Decision on Suspending Tsunami-Nation Debt Payments

The U.S. government will not back European-led calls for a suspension of debt repayments by tsunami- stricken countries until it determines whether that’s in the best interests of the nations involved, a U.S. Treasury spokesman said. The U.S. government will not back European-led calls for a suspension of debt repayments by tsunami- stricken countries until it determines whether that’s in the best interests of the nations involved, a U.S. Treasury spokesman said. The finance ministers of France, Germany, and the U.K. want to suspend $3 billion in annual debt payments by the affected countries. Japan said today it will let Indonesia and other affected nations freeze payment on about $65 billion of debt.

Ministers from the Paris Club, a group of 19 creditor nations, meet Jan. 12 to decide whether to waive the payments.

“We want to make sure we’re talking to the countries involved,” U.S. Treasury spokesman Tony Fratto said in an interview. “We have time to talk about what should be done from the perspective of debt servicing payments and think we should gather all the facts.”

The earthquake and tsunami that struck Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, and six other countries Dec. 26 left more than 150,000 people dead an