IMF 'will not leave table' on Egypt loan talks

The International Monetary Fund will remain engaged in loan negotiations with Egypt but wants the international community to provide financing, too, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said Saturday.

"It's a task and we will not give up, we will not leave the table," Lagarde said at a news conference during the IMF and World Bank spring meetings in Washington.

For several months, the IMF and Egypt have been in talks about a multibillion-dollar IMF loan that is contingent on strong support from domestic political actors and a commitment to key reforms.

Last year the IMF reached a deal in principle to provide a $4.8 billion loan to help finance the government while it undertakes reforms.

The loan was close to completion in November when political changes in Cairo set it back.

Lagarde pledged the IMF would "do everything" possible to reach an agreement. She declined to give a precise timetable for a deal to be struck.

But she emphasized that the IMF "cannot be the only one" to help prop up Egypt's economy.

"It will take international support and international donors to also help Egypt," she said.

Authorities believe the IMF loan will help restore investor confidence in Egypt where unrest that accompanied the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak hammered revenue from the once-lucrative tourism industry.

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