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IMF says Egypt seeks financial support
[WASHINGTON] Egypt has asked the International Monetary Fund for financial support as it struggles to strengthen its economy, the IMF said Tuesday.
The Fund plans to send a staff team to the country at the end of this month to review the situation in the country and begin consultations, it said.
According to some media reports, Egypt is seeking a loan program of US$7 billion.
"The Egyptian authorities have asked the IMF to provide financial support for their economic program," said Masood Ahmed, director of the IMF Middle East and Central Asia Department, said in a statement.
"We welcome this request, and look forward to discussing policies which can help Egypt meet its economic challenges. Our goals are to help Egypt return to economic stability and to support strong, sustainable and job-rich growth." In late 2012 Egypt, under previous president Mohamed Morsi, had reached a tentative deal to borrow US$4.8 billion from the IMF to buoy the country's sagging finances after the revolution that brought him to power.
However, negotiations were stymied in part by Egypt's resistance to reforms and political instability, which eventually led to Morsi's overthrow by the military in July 2013.
The subsequent government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi turned to the wealthy governments of the Gulf for billions of dollars to stabilise the country.
But it continues to struggle, and the central bank devalued the Egyptian pound by nearly 15 per cent in March.