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Sudan secures $425 mln loan to clear African Development Bank arrears

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Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (not pictured) address the media at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, February 14, 2020. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

KHARTOUM, May 5 (Reuters) - Sudan said on Wednesday it had cleared its arrears to the African Development Bank through a $425 million bridge loan provided by Britain, Sweden and Ireland, opening it up to new funding, including an immediate grant of $207 million.

The arrears clearance is Sudan's latest step to clear at least $50 billion in debt. It has enacted aggressive economic reforms, which an ADB official praised in the statement.

Sudan expects to begin the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) process in June, and France is hosting a debt relief conference for the African country on May 17.

Sudan was previously able to clear its arrears to the World Bank through a bridge loan provided by the United States. It must still clear its International Monetary Fund arrears in order to proceed with HIPC.

France will grant a $1.5 billion bridge loan in order to accomplish that, a French diplomat said in April.

Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz, writing by Nafisa Eltahir; editing by John Stonestreet

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