Lebanon holds meeting with IMF, more talks next week: statement

BEIRUT (Reuters) - A Lebanese government a delegation held a meeting with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday, the finance ministry said, the first since the talks were declared on hold last week.

Lebanon began talks with the IMF in May, hoping to secure aid to tackle a financial crisis considered the biggest threat to the country since its 1975-90 civil war.

The meeting, which was attended by Energy Minister Raymond Ghajar, dealt with reforms in the state-owned electricity sector, which has bled state funds for decades and is seen as one of the major causes of the crisis.

The discussions will continue next week, the finance ministry said in a statement.

The talks have been bogged down by a row over the scale of financial losses that has embroiled the government, the central bank, commercial banks and lawmakers from Lebanon’s main political parties.

Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni said last week the talks were on hold pending the start of economic reforms and agreement on the losses.

Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Edmund Blair