WASHINGTON Oct 18 The United States views the
International Monetary Fund's proposed $12 billion bailout for
Egypt as "essential" and is working with G7 economic powers to
ensure that it is fully funded with bilateral financing, a
senior U.S. Treasury official said on Tuesday.
Nathan Sheets, Treasury undersecretary for international
affairs, told a policy forum that the United States supports the
IMF's Egypt program and believes that reforms required by the
IMF will be challenging, but are necessary to liberalize Egypt's
economy and make it more competitive.
Egypt needs to arrange up to $6 billion in bilateral gap
financing before the IMF board can approve the program. Prime
Minister Sherif Ismail said earlier on Tuesday that about 60
percent of the total had been secured.
(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Bill Rigby)