x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Brown to visit Gulf seeking IMF funds

British prime minister will visit the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in a bid to reduce the spread of the financial crisis.

LONDON // Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, will travel to the Gulf on Saturday to encourage Gulf states into injecting new funds into the International Monetary Fund. Mr Brown, who will hold meetings with heads of state in the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia over four days, said yesterday that an immediate increase in the $250 billion fund available to the IMF would reduce the risk of the financial crisis striking both Western and developing economies, particularly in eastern Europe, from spreading further around the world. The prime minister said that, while he had not ruled out additional UK contributions to the IMF, he felt the bulk of extra funds should come from the Gulf and China. "We need this for the crisis we face now," Mr Brown said. "It is in every nation's interest that financial contagion does not spread. "It is clear that the whole of the international community must have an interest in stopping this contagion, to prevent the worsening of the global economic downturn." During the trip, Mr Brown is also expected to press Saudi and UAE leaders to eschew further oil production cuts by OPEC, despite the tumbling price. Any more reductions, he warned, could impede the chances of a swift economic recovery. Exact details of Mr Brown's itinerary for the trip are not being revealed for security reasons, officials said. dsapsted@thenational.ae