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International relations

G-20 to consider debt freeze extension for poorest countries

But finance ministers stop short of taking concrete measures

Mohammed al-Jadaan, Saudi Arabia's finance minister, wears a protective mask as he attends a virtual meeting of G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on July 18.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON/DUBAI (Reuters) -- Finance officials from the Group of 20 countries on Saturday called for all official bilateral creditors to implement fully a short-term debt freeze for the world's poorest countries, but stopped short of extending the initiative into next year.

Sources briefed on the G-20 meeting said there was strong support for extending the standstill beyond the end of 2020, given the severity of the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, but the group's final communique said only that the issue would be considered in the second half of 2020.

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