Kerry urges Egypt economic reform

2013-05-26 18:47
US Secretary of State John Kerry (Picture: AP)

US Secretary of State John Kerry (Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Addis Ababa - US Secretary of State John Kerry urged Egypt to act swiftly on economic reforms to secure a $4.8bn International Monetary Fund loan, saying the measures were needed to get further aid from the US Congress, an American official said.

Kerry met Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi for about an hour on the sidelines of an African Union summit on Saturday, discussing Syria's civil war, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, human rights in Egypt and the country's faltering economy, the official said.

Egypt's Islamist-led government has been resistant to introducing the austerity measures needed to win the IMF funding, including raising taxes and cutting fuel subsidies, fearing such painful reforms could provoke social unrest.

However, an IMF deal could help shore up investor and donor concerns after two years of political instability since the overthrow of former president Hosni Mubarak in early 2011. The instability has depressed tourism, a crucial industry for Egypt.

The US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Kerry had made the argument that the reforms were necessary to persuade American lawmakers to proceed with further economic support for the country, which borders US ally Israel.

"He urged action on making reforms happen now to move towards requirements to get the IMF package," the official said.

During his first visit to Cairo as secretary of state, on 3 March, Kerry told Morsi the United States would provide the first $190m of $450m in pledged budget support because of Morsi's commitment to see the IMF process through.

The remainder, however, would depend on the economic reforms, a point Kerry made again in the Ethiopian capital.

"He said... we need to be able to show Congress that you have taken the necessary reforms," said the official. "I have been a strong advocate of support for Egypt. I continue to support aid for Egypt, but... we need to see reforms in place that will encourage my former colleagues back at home to act."

Kerry served in the US Senate for nearly 30 years before becoming the country's top diplomat on 1 Feb.

Egypt has in recent years received about $1.3bn in military aid from Washington, support that dates back to its signing of a peace treaty with Israel more than 30 years ago. That assistance, however, is not seen as contingent on Egyptian economic reform.

Read more on:    au  |  mohammed morsi  |  john kerry  |  egypt  |  north africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.