WASHINGTON, July 25 The International Monetary
Fund said on Thursday it will not engage in talks about a
possible $4.8 billion loan to Egypt until the country's interim
government gains recognition from the international community.
IMF deputy spokesman William Murray repeated that the Fund
has not been in touch with the current government in Egypt, only
with bureaucrats on the technical level.
"It's a case of the international community ... its
institutions, its nations, coming together and recognizing a
particular government," Murray told reporters on Thursday. "That
would be true anywhere.
"And until that happens, and until our members make a
decision on the Egyptian government, we're going to keep our
context technical (at the technical level)."
The IMF had been negotiating a critically needed $4.8
billion loan with Egypt before the military removal of elected
President Mohamed Mursi in early July.
The current Egyptian cabinet as a whole has not yet said
clearly whether it will resume talks with the IMF about the
loan, which would come attached to economic reform commitments
that the government might find politically risky.
Planning Minister Ashraf al-Arabi said last week that now
was not the right time to restart negotiations with the IMF
because $12 billion in aid from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab
Emirates and Kuwait would carry Egypt through its transitional
The next parliamentary elections are expected in about six
months, but any transition could be delayed by radical reforms
of the budget system that hurt living standards and bring
protesters back into the streets.
After a year of Mursi's administration, Egypt's fiscal
position is desperate; in recent months government revenue has
covered barely half of all expenditure, leaving borrowing and
aid to make up the rest. An IMF loan is widely viewed as
necessary to convince foreign donors and investors that Egypt's
economy is on the right track.