US Secretary of State Colin Powell has endorsed debt relief for tsunami-stricken countries and also backs an international donors conference.
Mr. Powell told the French News Agency (AFP) Thursday that these nations need all the relief that can be provided. He said he could not confirm what the United States would do, but said debt relief is something the international community should consider. Mr. Powell also said an international donors conference could take place as early as next week. Italy has called for a meeting of the Group of Eight world economic powers on possible debt relief for the South Asian nations while French President Jacques Chirac has endorsed a debt moratorium by the Paris Club group of lenders. Also, Canada announced Thursday an immediate debt moratorium for the disaster-hit countries.