February 24, 2024

U.S. Treasury Secretary to meet with Egypt’s finance minister, central banker

Washington: Reuters, Cairo Post – Ashraf Gaber
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will meet with top Egyptian finance officials in Washington, today, the Treasury Department said, amid talks between Cairo and the International Monetary Fund on additional financing help.

Egypt, already struggling with high foreign debt levels, has been hit hard by the war in the neighboring Gaza Strip, which threatens to disrupt tourism bookings and natural gas imports, and recent attacks on Red Sea ships.

Egypt’s $3 billion loan program agreed with the IMF in December 2022 faltered after Egypt’s refuse to let its currency float freely or make progress on the sale of state assets.

The IMF delayed disbursements of about $700 million expected in 2023, but in December said it was in talks to expand the $3 billion program given economic risk from the Israel attack on Gaza.

The IMF had no immediate comment on whether Egyptian authorities would also meet with IMF officials during their visit to Washington.

The Treasury said Yellen would meet with Egyptian Finance Minister Mohamed Maait; Rania Al-Mashat, minister of international cooperation and top central banker Hassan Abdalla.

The meeting comes as Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits the Middle East as part of a fresh push to prevent the Gaza conflict from growing into a regional conflagration.

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