Govt source: US$2 bn deposit from Algeria in works at Qandil visit

The Egyptian government may negotiate with Algeria for a US$2 billion deposit, said an official Egyptian government source.

The source told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the talks conducted by Prime Minister Hesham Qandil in Algeria on Sunday would discuss the subject.

Qandil is conducting talks on Sunday with Algerian Prime Minister Abdel Malek Sellal, in order to promote economic and investment relations between the two countries.

"Algeria has a foreign exchange reserve of $188 billion, and has lent the IMF $5 billion, a move that sparked sharp criticism of the Algerian government, which justified that [deposit] with the desire to have an influential voice inside the IMF, as a prelude to being a member of its board," the source said.

The source said Qandil's visit to Algeria “aims to solve the problem of the shortage of butane in the Egyptian market, since Algeria is the largest supplier of butane to Egypt, followed by Saudi Arabia."

The state budget deficit is expected to reach LE135 billion by the end of the year. Government figures said that the deficit was LE50.8 billion in the first quarter.

The delegation, headed by Qandil, includes Industry and Trade Minister Hatem Saleh, Communications Minister Salah Abdel Maqsoud, Planning and International Cooperation Minister Ashraf al-Araby, Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr and Petroleum Minister Osama Kamal.

Qandil's visit to Algeria is the first by an Egyptian prime minister since the 25 January revolution began. In 2008, Ahmed Nazif was the last prime minister to visit Algeria.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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