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IMF says talks with Zambia remain suspended

Staff Writer |
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that talks with the Zambian government for a possible bailout program remain suspended.

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On Thursday, the Zambian government said a team from the IMF was expected to visit the country next week as part of ongoing talks for possible bailout financing of about $1.3 billion.

Fredson Yamba, Secretary to the Zambian Treasury, said the IMF's mission to Zambia follows the government's successful submission of data that the international lender had requested.

But in a statement released after a press briefing held on Thursday, IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice said the discussions with Zambia have been suspended because the government's borrowing plan would compromise the country's debt sustainability and undermine its macroeconomic stability.

The spokesperson said the IMF has not yet received the specifics of the government's new debt plans or the revised budget numbers.

"Therefore, it's premature to discuss the appropriateness, the fitness, for any potential re-engagement regarding a program discussion," he said.

He however did not confirm whether an IMF delegation will visit Zambia next week.

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