Yair Lapid .
(photo credit: Reuters)
Israel on Tuesday became the 20th full member of the Paris Club, a group of creditor countries that helps provide various kinds of debt relief to borrower countries.
Israel's addition to the group, which includes the likes of the US, UK, Switzerland, Australia, Russia and Japan, means it will be obligated to go along with decisions on debt restructuring or relief for countries in trouble. The club negotiates with such countries once they have concluded a program with the International Monetary Fund.
As a full member state, Israel will also be able to help shape decisions taken by the group, which operates on a consensus basis. It will also be able to utilize its membership to seek repayment of Israeli bonds.
Entry into the group will be taken as an endorsement of Israel's economic stability. In 2010, Israel was accepted as a member of the OECD, a club of developed economies that now has 34 members. The Paris Club is somewhat more exclusive.
"Israel's accession to the Paris Club indicates its economic strength and is further proof that Israel's place is alongside the strongest countries in the international arena," Finance Minister Yair Lapid said.
Since its founding in 1956, the group has come to 429 debt agreements with 90 states totaling some 573 billion euros.