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Abul-Naga: Negotiations with the G-8 group to get $35 billion

Minister of Planning and Int'l Cooperation Fayza AbulNaga said the G-8 envoy promised to reply to the Egyptian queries as soon as possible.
Egypt is currently holding intensive negotiations with the G-8 of industrialized states, Gulf states, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to get a package of economic assistance and loans to the value of $35 billion in order to fill the budget deficit and to provide the financing necessary for development projects.

Fayza Abul-Naga, the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation said in exclusive statements to Al-Ahram, that She has discussed with Edouard Balladur, the G-8 envoy and the delegate of French President Nicolas Sarkozy the mechanisms of the support offered by the G-8 to Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Jordan.

She said Egypt will get half of this assistance which is valued at $70 billion in view of its needs and its big leverage.

She said negotiations are underway to enable Egypt of getting the best conditions and the biggest part of non-refundable grants adding she has asked the G-8 envoy and his accompanying delegation that the G-8 should designate the structure of this support, the sum Egypt will get in the form of loans and its conditions as well as the volume of grants from this assistance.

She said the G-8 envoy promised to reply to the Egyptian queries as soon as possible.

Meantime, talks will open next Tuesday between Egypt and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission on the $3 billion loan, Minister Abul-Naga said the loans will have an interest rate of 1.5% and 39 months period of grace and will be repaid along a period of five years.

Minister Abul-Naga said the Egyptian interest will be the governing element in negotiations with the IMF.

Meantime, Inger Anderson, the deputy Chairman of the World Bank for Middle East and North Africa will visit Egypt next week to discuss and to follow up the portfolio of cooperation between Egypt and the World Bank which accounts to $3 billion annually.

Abul-Naga said she will discuss with the WB official the loan Egypt has asked to finance labor intensive projects.

The loan will be valued at $200 million and will have soft-term conditions.