G7 backs extension of debt freeze

G7 finance ministers on Friday backed an extension of a G20 bilateral debt relief initiative for the world’s poorest countries, but said it must be revised to address shortcomings hindering implementation.

In a joint statement, the ministers said they “strongly regret” moves by some countries to skip participation by classifying their State-owned institutions as commercial lenders. Two officials from G7 countries said the reference was targeted at China, which has refused to include loans by the state-owned China Development Bank and other government-controlled entities when dealing with countries seeking debt relief.

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