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Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Last Night’s Talk Shows: Biden and El Sisi’s call + IMF’s Mohieldin on covid-19 outlook

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and US President Joe Biden’s phone call yesterday on reinforcing the Palestine-Israel ceasefire and reviving the peace process was in the limelight on last night’s talk shows. Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa (watch, runtime: 5:35) and Masaa DMC’s Jasmine Zaky (watch, runtime: 3:58) had cut-and-dry coverage, while the rest of the nation’s chattering class provided more color on how the call signals a shift in Washington’s tone towards Egypt. We have the full story in this morning’s news well, above.

Elsewhere, the IMF is expected to release today a staff report on Egypt’s economic performance and policies, IMF Executive Director Mahmoud Mohieldin said in an extended conversation with Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi. The report is not expected to hold any surprises, with Egypt showing economic stability since the outbreak of the pandemic and making significant progress on the government’s reform program, Mohieldin said.

On the global front, the IMF is expecting to see 6% economic growth in 2021, Mohieldin said, but stressed that this figure is subject to revisions, depending on how individual countries’ vaccination programs progress. The former investment minister noted that leaving individual countries or regions lagging behind the rest of the world in vaccinating their populations will have spillover effects. The IMF has proposed a USD 50 bn grant and loan package from international financial institutions to make vaccines available to countries that are struggling to access enough doses, Mohieldin said (watch, runtime: 26:11).

The report comes after the IMF praised economic reform program II: An IMF delegation praised Egypt’s new three-year program of structural reforms in a meeting with Planning Minister Hala El Said yesterday, according to a statement. The fund also lauded the program’s alignment with the UN’s sustainable development goals and for building on the first phase of the IMF-supported economic reform program that kicked off in 2016.

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