The International Monetary Fund (IMF) remains strongly committed to helping the Egyptian people deal with their economic and financial challenges, said the fund’s communications director Gerry Rice in a Thursday press briefing.
The remarks came after two years’ of negotiations between Egypt and the IMF over a $4.8bn loan had stalled out following the 3 July ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi.On determining how the IMF will deal with the army-backed interim government, Rice said: “We will be guided, as is the norm, by the views of the international community, by our membership.”
No official statement by either the Egyptian government or the IMF stated that negotiations have already restarted.
Negotiations over the IMF loan were halted more than once during the past couple of years over the failure of successive governments to abide by a number of financial reforms stipulated by the fund.
In her latest statements, the IMF’s managing director, Christine Lagarde, stated that the IMF is waiting for the “right time” to resume negotiations.
“Obviously, the situation has evolved, has been very unsettled, and everybody is watching the situation. We try to be as ready as we can when the time comes for Egypt to reinitiate discussions with us,” Lagarde said.
During the same press roundtable, Lagarde refused to comment on the money that Egypt received from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Minister of Finance Ahmed Galal previously announced that the government plans to reduce the budget deficit by relying on grants from “friends”. Galal also expressed gratitude for the $12bn aid from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates.
Earlier in July, IMF spokesman William Murray said that the fund will remain in touch with the technical team until such time as the interim government is recognised by the international community.
“There are technical level contacts with Central Bank and finance ministry technicians, but there has been no contact with the current government in Egypt,” Murray said.