Qatari PM says won't let Egypt go bankrupt

Ahram Online, Wednesday 16 Jan 2013

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani says his country will support Egypt as is not wise to let biggest country in Arab world go bankrupt

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani (C) talks with Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil during their meeting in Cairo January 8, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)

Qatar's prime minister has said his country does not want to see Egypt go bankrupt, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

"Qatar will stand by Egypt and the Egyptian people's needs," Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani said.

The Qatari royal visited Cairo last week, where he promised to deposit an additional $2 billion in the Egyptian central bank and grant the country $500 million outright.

"We don't want to see the biggest country in the Arab world bankrupt. I don't think this is wise. I think it is in the interest of the World Bank and the international community not to see Egypt brought down," Al-Thani added.

As part of its assistance to Egypt's struggling economy, the oil-rich state granted Egypt $500 million in October 2011 and deposited $2 billion in the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Egypt is currently in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to secure a $4.8 billion loan for budgetary assistance. The government says that the loan in essential as a seal of approval that would unlock further loans and grants from international institutions.

A technical team is expected to arrive in Cairo in the next two weeks to work out the details.

Meanwhile, CBE said the country's reserves have reached critical level implying it will not be able to support the Egyptian pound as freely as it did in the past two years.

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