Iraq To Ask For Debt Forgiveness

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Stockholm, Sweden (AP) Iraq's prime minister is expected to ask the international community today to forgive his nation's debt dating back to the Saddam years.

Nouri Al-Maliki is to address a U.N. conference in Sweden. It's the first annual review of a sweeping reform package agreed to by various nations.

Major General Kevin Bergner, the chief U.S. Military spokesman in Iraq, tells AP radio it's an important show of international commitment to Iraq.

U.S. And Iraqi officials will likely tout recent security gains. the military says violence has subsided to its lowest level in more than four years.

The international reform package agreed to for Iraq last year also calls for political reform, particularly a bigger role for Sunni Arabs. But the biggest Sunni Arab bloc continues boycotting the Shiite-led government.

Iraq has at least 67 billion dollars in foreign debt, most of it owed to other Arab nations.