* Decisions to boost IMF capital may come later
* In everybody's interest to resolve euro crisis
By Marwa Rashad and Ibrahim al-Mutawa
RIYADH, Feb 7 Saudi Arabia's Finance
Minister Ibrahim Alassaf said on Tuesday that it was too early
for his country to offer a fresh financial contribution to the
International Monetary Fund.
Alassaf, speaking to reporters at a business conference in
the Saudi capital, said the issue would be discussed at a
meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group
of 20 nations in Mexico City on Feb. 25-26.
Decisions may be made at a later date to boost the IMF's
capital and for some IMF member states to provide additional
funding, he said.
The IMF is seeking to more than double its war chest by
raising $600 billion in new resources to help countries deal
with the fallout of Europe's debt crisis. Wealthy oil exporters
in the Gulf, as well as big emerging economies such as China,
are expected to be asked to contribute much of the increase.
"The other member states believe that the main and first
role should be the European Union's, and then the other states
can provide support," Alassaf said.
However, he also said: "Although the crisis is mainly
European, it is in the interest of everyone that the crisis
doesn't deepen and to ensure the return to growth of Europe.
"What will be discussed at the G20 meeting is what the role
is of the European Union and the member states in the IMF."
Alassaf did not link any future Saudi contribution to the
IMF to the idea of giving Saudi Arabia and other major emerging
economies more representation and authority at the Fund, which
has been dominated by Western powers.
But in a speech last month, former Saudi intelligence chief
Prince Turki al-Faisal, who no longer holds government office
but is still seen as influential, said big emerging economies
would not aid the West unless they were given more say in
running the global economy.
Ending a visit to Riyadh on Saturday, IMF managing director
Christine Lagarde publicly praised Saudi Arabia's role in
stabilising the global economy but said nothing about the
possibility of a fresh Saudi contribution to IMF resources.