Argentine economy minister Axel Kicillof.

Paris - The Paris Club of industrialised creditor nations announced Thursday an agreement for Argentina to clear nearly $10 billion in debt arrears and resume payments.

The representatives of Paris Club creditors and Argentina

“agreed on an arrangement to clear debt in arrears due to Paris Club creditors over a five-year period”, the club said in a statement.

Under the terms of the deal, which covered stock arrears of $9.7 billion, Argentina would repay a minimum of $1.150 billion by May 2015, with the next payment due by May 2016, the club said.

“Realisation of initial payment under a formal commitment of Argentina to fully clear its arrears is a necessary and important step for the normalisation of financial relationships between Paris Club creditors and Argentina,” the club said.

Argentina was represented in the negotiations by Finance Minister Axel Kicillof, a key member of the centre-left government.

The government of President Cristina Kirchner, who has headed the country since 2007, had announced in 2008 that it wanted to pay back the debt inherited from the 2001 crisis when the country defaulted on its payments. - Sapa-AFP