If Egypt maintains its current payment rate, it will pay down its arrears to international oil companies (IOCs) within two years, the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, told Egyptian media, Reuters reports.

“It is hard to determine a specific date but we imagine that if the current rate of payment continues we will be able to reach zero external debt within two years,” El Molla said, according to Reuters.

Last month, the Prime Minister, Sherif Ismail, indicated that Egypt will make another payment toward its arrears prior to the end of 2017, Al Mal News reported at the time.

Back payments rose to $6.3 billion in 2015, but, since that time, the government has sought to paydown its arrears. Earlier this year, Egypt made a $2.2 billion payment, lowering its outstanding obligations to the IOCs to $2.3 billion, Al Borsa reported.

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