Last updated: 11 July, 2013

IMF has no contact with Egypt’s interim government

The International Monetary Fund on Thursday said it has had no contact with Egypt’s interim government, but that technical level talks continue on a potential IMF loan.

IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said the IMF was considering the implications of the situation in Egypt, following last week’s military coup, on the loan prospects.

“We have not been in touch with the interim government but we are in contact with our counterparts at the technical level,” Rice said at a regularly scheduled news briefing.

The IMF spokesman declined to say whether Egypt may need more than the $4.8 billion loan under discussion after a military coup ousted president Mohamed Morsi last week and the new leadership was trying to form a new government amid deadly unrest.

“We’ll just have to wait and see,” Rice said.

The 188-nation IMF will be guided by the view of the international community and particularly those of its membership, he added.

The United States, the IMF’s largest stakeholder, provides $1.5 billion in mainly military aid to Egypt and has said it was “cautiously encouraged” by the timetable proposed for a new presidential election.

Kuwait pledged $4 billion in assistance to Egypt on Wednesday, bringing the combined total pledged by Gulf Arab states since the coup to $12 billion.

Rice said he could not comment on the pledged support because he did not know the details.

The July 3 military coup came after millions of Egyptians took to the streets to call for Morsi’s ouster, accusing him of betraying the 2011 revolution that brought him to power.

In late June, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the proposed IMF aid program — put at $4.8 billion in the negotiations that began in 2012 — would not meet the country’s needs.

“I very much hope that we can find the ground and the terms under which we can reach conclusion with the Egyptian authorities, where we have efforts on their part to address the key issues, support of the international community to participate in the financing, because the IMF financing will not be enough,” she said.