US State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said
that the Congress had approved the disbursement of $ 190 million as previously announced
by the State Secretary during his visit to Egypt.
"That money has already been approved by the Congress for disbursement, as we said
in the statement that Secretary Kerry issued as we were leaving Cairo", Nuland stated
during a press conference held Thursday, adding that this budget support is a direct
transfer to the Egyptian budget to ensure that it stays solvent.
She underlined that there is a huge amount at stake in Egypt, and there's a huge
amount of ferment, both on the political side and on the economic side, as Secretary
Kerry made clear when he was there.
"Since our visit, the Egyptian government has welcomed the IMF back. They're getting
ready to make a visit now. We'll see if they're able to do better on this round in
terms of coming up with an agreement on how IMF support could go forward, so that's
one thing" Nuland said.
On the electoral side, Nuland expressed concerns about how the elections were planning
to go forward, saying that "We now have a judicial process under way to review that
and to try to build more legal consensus about the right way forward. That is a good
thing, that there is a chance for review of that, and we'll have to see where it
Regarding the sought-after loan by the Egyptian government, Nuland said "the IMF
has a number of different facilities that it can offer. The original conversation
had been about a full IMF plan. When those negotiations became difficult, the IMF
made a suggestion to Egypt that they might want to consider what they call a rapid
financing instrument, which is a smaller package. The Egyptian government has now
expressed its preference to have a full standby arrangement if they can work it out".
"The IMF, I think, was concerned that it would take more time for Egypt to be able
to take the difficult steps. If the Egyptians think they can do them now and they
can come up with an agreement, then obviously, getting the full agreement done is
a good thing too," Nuland added.
Speaking about a way out of the current political stalemate in Egypt, Nuland said
"We think it's absolutely essential that the government reach out to a broad cross-section
of Egyptian citizens both on the political side and on the economic side, because
there has to be more unity if the country's going to move forward"