Egypt denies asking Algeria for $2 bln aid

Egypt’s prime minister denied a report that he asked Algeria’s government for $2 billion to shore up a struggling economy during an official visit to the country this week, Egypt’s state news agency reported.

Egypt is seeking assistance from foreign donors and the International Monetary Fund to curb its budget deficit and avert a balance of payments crisis. Cairo is trying to revive an economy hit by political turmoil sparked by last year’s Arab Spring uprising.

Two official sources confirmed to Reuters on Monday that Cairo was seeking aid from energy-rich Algeria, although they said the form of assistance was not clear. One said the amount in question was around $2 billion.

“The Egyptian government didn’t propose this request,” MENA cited Prime Minister Hisham Kandil as saying in a meeting with Algerian media.

A Monday report in newspaper al-Masry al-Youm did not give a direct quote from its source, but wrote that: “An official source said that Egypt will negotiate a deposit worth $2 billion to be put in the central bank”. (Writing by Tom Pfeiffer; editing by Stephen Nisbet)

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