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Egypt (and Beyond) Live: Talks Over IMF Loan Fail to Reach Agreement

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and International Managing Director Christine Lagarde at the Presidential Palace in Cairo last year

1700 GMT: Egypt

Cairo and the International Monetary Fund have failed to agree on terms for a $4.8 billion loan to ease a worsening economic crisis.

After nearly two weeks of negotiations in Cairo, IMF mission chief Andreas Bauer issued a statement today that cited progress, notably in Egypt's efforts to better target fuel subsidies and broaden its revenue base.

However, Bauer indicated that no resolution had occurred, "Discussions with the authorities will continue with the objective of reaching agreement on a possible standby arrangement in support of Egypt."

Egyptian officials played down the setback, saying talks would continue this week in Washington, and in Cairo after that.

"We are travelling to the spring meetings in the next two days and are going to be there in the coming week and will complete the negotiations there, and after we return, the mission will come again for us to complete some of the negotiations," Planning Minister Ashraf al-Arabi, one of the Egyptian negotiators, said.

"But the talks are difficult," he added.

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