IMF says talks in Egypt were fruitful

2012-03-22 22:36

Washington - The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday an IMF team had fruitful talks with authorities in Egypt this week that could lead to an IMF loan.

"The mission had productive talks with the authorities and key political parties in parliament," IMF spokesperson David Hawley said at a regularly scheduled news briefing.

"They've been there for the past three days to lay the groundwork for the return of the technical team that can continue work on Egypt's economic programme which, in turn, could be supported by the Fund," he said.

Egypt's economy has suffered dramatically after a popular uprising a year ago toppled long time strongman Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt had spurned an IMF loan last year but has since changed its mind amid a stalling economy.

Hawley, the IMF spokesperson, rejected some media reports that the IMF mission and Egypt had failed to agree on a programme.

The IMF mission "was intended to meet with key stakeholders in the country... it included political and parliamentary leaders," he said.

"This is to make sure that if and when a programme is agreed that there is a clear understanding on both sides about the support needed for implementing policies."

The Muslim Brotherhood, the country's largest political force, on Tuesday held off from backing a request for an IMF loan, urging more government transparency.

The Islamist party said in a statement that the government "has not yet submitted a plan of economic measures relating to the loan" and did not say "how this loan will be used, or how it will be paid off".