UPDATE 1-Troika to return to Greece later this week -Eurogroup head

Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:10pm EST

BRUSSELS Feb 17 (Reuters) - A mission of international lenders will return to Greece later this week to review progress made in delivering on the country's reforms that are key for further loans, the chairman of euro zone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on Monday.

International lenders - the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Commission and the European Central Bank - interrupted a visit to Athens last year because there was no progress in discussions with Greek authorities.

This has held up disbursements of loans due since September 2013, with the main sticking point being how Athens would plug a gap in this year's budget, which had been estimated at 1 billion euros.

Sources directly involved in the talks told Reuters earlier this month that Greece and its foreign lenders have largely bridged differences over the issue.

In a separate statement, the IMF said on Monday that discussions with Athens would start on February 24.

"The purpose of the talks is to seek agreement on the set of policies needed to complete the fifth review of the country's economic program supported by an Extended Fund Facility (EFF)," IMF spokeswoman √Āngela Gaviria said.

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