Egypt says ‘appreciates’ Washington’s support for govt’s economic reform plan

Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry expressed Cairo’s appreciation of Washington’s support for his country’s economic reform program, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

During a telephone conversation with Secretary of State John Kerry, “Shoukry expressed Cairo’s appreciation of US support for Egypt’s economic reform plan, which was presented to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) board…and US support for several aspects of the Egyptian economy recently,” the statement added.

The two officials also discussed recent developments in crisis-ridden countries in the region including Syria, and Egyptian and US efforts to reach a political solution there.

Egypt’s slump in foreign reserves and its widening budget deficit have pushed the country to launch a reform program aimed at stabalising the economy. Last week, the central bank made the major decision to float the pound and raised fuel prices. The government has also cut electricity subsidies and introduced a new Value Added Tax.

Last week, the IMF signed off on a three-year loan to Egypt totaling $12 billion, to support the country’s flagging economy. Officials have said the loan will restore investor confidence and boost the country’s foreign reserves.

Source: Ahram Online