WASHINGTON, April 5 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday there was no fixed timeline for concluding loan talks with Egypt and insisted that any IMF financing package have the broad support of all political parties in the country.
“The timeline for concluding an agreement is not fixed and will depend on how quickly progress is made by all sides on these all issues,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told a news conference.
An IMF technical mission is currently in Cairo discussing details of an IMF-backed economic program. Egypt has requested a $3.2 billion financing arrangement from the IMF, following political turmoil that has heightened balance of payments pressures.
The deal would need the backing of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), which has nearly half of the seats in parliament.
The central bank on Monday said reserves fell another $600 million in March to $15.12 billion, equivalent to less than three months’ worth of imports and includes $4 billion in gold bullion.
“A technical team has begun talks with the authorities on specific elements of the government’s program and has met with representatives of political parties,” Rice said, adding, “these talks are ongoing”.
The government’s economic reform plan contains a series of austerity measures and new taxes, according to a draft obtained by Reuters.