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EU debt crisis at centre of Saudi-IMF talks

Feb 05 2012 11:36 Sapa-AFP

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Riyadh - International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde met Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf on Saturday to discuss efforts to resolve Europe's debt crisis, the state news agency SPA reported.

The talks in Riyadh also covered regional and global economic conditions, it said on its website.

Saudi King Abdullah and Lagarde on Friday reviewed "IMF action and developments in the world economy," according to SPA.

Oil giant Saudi Arabia is a member of the G-20 group of leading economies under pressure to boost their contributions to the IMF's resources for crisis intervention.

The IMF says it wants to raise another $500 billion (380 billion euros), on top of the nearly $390 billion it has available now, to help countries in financial distress.

In an interview published on Friday in the Saudi daily Asharq Al-Awsat, Lagarde said the world body would "rely on its major member states" to raise the money, without naming Saudi Arabia.

It remains unclear if the kingdom will agree to increase its IMF contributions.

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest exporter of crude oil, saw a record budget surplus in 2011 of more than $81 billion on the back of high prices on the world market.

christine lagarde  |  imf

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