PM Shehbaz thanks Sri Lankan president for IMF support


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif over a telephone conversation on Monday thanked the Sri Lankan president for supporting Pakistan through the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement.

“You have played the role of a true friend and well wisher of Pakistan, and I thank you on behalf of the people of my country,” the prime minister said.

He paid tributes to Sri Lanka for its role in promoting regional peace and development. He also said he hoped both countries will come out of the economic crisis very soon.

The Sri Lankan president congratulated Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for reaching the staff level agreement with the IMF.

According to the Associated Press of Pakistan, the Sri Lankan president played an important role during PM Shehbaz’s negotiations with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, and had stressed the IMF’s responsibility to help Pakistan’s economic situation when it was teetering on the brink of default.

The Sri Lankan president reportedly “appreciated the struggle and efforts” of the PM in dealing with the country’s crisis.

The phone call comes a week after the IMF’s executive board signed off a $3 billion stand-by arrangement (SBA) for Pakistan in order “to support the authorities’ economic stabilisation programme”.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the first tranche of $1.2 billion was deposited in the central bank, while the “balance amount” of $1.8 billion would be handed over after two reviews, in November and in February.

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