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Lebanon's international creditors urge new govt to begin debt restructuring talks

·1 min read

LONDON, Sept 21 (Reuters) - A group of Lebanon's bondholders, including some of the world's biggest investment funds, urged the new government on Tuesday to begin debt restructuring talks as soon as possible to help address the country's grave financial crisis.

Lebanon suffered its first international debt default last March after years of political upheaval and economic mismanagement left it unable to service a more than 170% of GDP debt burden.

Following a year of political deadlock, Lebanese leaders put together a new government led by Sunni Muslim tycoon Najib Mikati earlier this month, tasking him with getting an economy where three quarters of the population are now in poverty back on its feet.

The creditor group said in a statement it: "hopes and expects the new government will promote a speedy, transparent and equitable debt restructuring process."

"Such a process will need the government to engage meaningfully with the International Monetary Fund as well as Lebanon's international creditors and official sector partners," it added. (Reporting by Marc Jones and Tom Arnold, editing by Karin Strohecker)