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Hollande calls for 'robust' Iran nuclear deal in talks with Rouhani PARIS: French President Francois Hollande called for a "lasting, robust and verifiable" nuclear accord with Iran during talks with President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday, his office in Paris said."The president, while insisting on Iran's legitimate right to use peaceful nuclear power, insisted on the need to work towards a lasting, robust and verifiable agreement on Iran's nuclear programme," Hollande's office said in a statement .The discussion came as last-ditch talks resumed between Iran and world powers in Switzerland. After 18 months of intense negotiations around the globe, US Secretary of State John Kerry launched a final round of talks with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in Lausanne aimed at reaching a deal before the final deadline of March 31.Six world powers negotiating with Iran since late 2013 want Tehran to disable parts of its nuclear infrastructure to put an atomic bomb out of reach and end a 12-year standoff.Copyright ...

Hollande plant visit may signal Peugeot decision PARIS: French President Francois Hollande will visit PSA Peugeot Citroen's Tr?mery factory on Friday, government officials said, in a sign that the domestic plant has been chosen over a Spanish site to expand engine production.The carmaker is due to announce additional production of its three-cylinder gasoline engines, pitting the factory in eastern France against another Peugeot plant in Vigo, Spain.The Paris-based company declined to comment on the presidential visit or on French media reports that ...

Putin says Western spies plot against Russia before polls MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin accused Western spies on Thursday of plotting to undermine his rule and "destabilise" Russia before elections by using public organisations for their own goals.At a meeting of Russia's Federal Security Service, a successor to the Soviet-era KGB, Putin took aim at non-governmental groups which receive foreign funding, saying Moscow would not relax its scrutiny of their activities."The attempts by Western security services to use public, non-governmental organisations and non-political groups for ...

IMF says rules do not allow official arrears WASHINGTON: Countries borrowing money from the International Monetary Fund are not allowed to owe debt to other governments, an IMF spokesman said on Thursday."The fund does maintain a policy of non-toleration of arrears to official bilateral creditors," IMF spokesman William Murray told reporters.Ukraine, which recently received a $17.5 billion IMF bailout, must come up with at least $15.3 billion from sovereign debt restructuring under the conditions of the program. But Russia, which holds $3 billion ...

IMF says had 'constructive' phone call with Greece WASHINGTON: IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde had a 'constructive' conversation with Greece's prime minister on Wednesday, IMF spokesman William Murray said on Thursday."They had a constructive conversation that focused on next steps in taking forward the policy discusisons related to the IMF's continued support of Greece's reform program," Murray told reporters on Thursday.Greece is locked in talks with its International Monetary Fund and European creditors and risks running out of cash next month unless it ...

IMF says postpones Yemen loan program for now WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund on Thursday said it was postponing its next review of its $553 million loan program to Yemen given the uncertain situation in the country."Obviously we're watching the rapidly evolving situation carefully and closely at the moment," IMF spokesman William Murray told reporters. "Given a host of uncertainties surrounding Yemen at the moment, the first review of the Fund-supported program is postponed until the situation clarifies."The IMF agreed in July to ...

French 2014 deficit smaller than expected, growth at 0.4pc PARIS: France's public deficit increased by slightly less than expected in 2014, while growth in the eurozone's second biggest economy was confirmed at 0.4 percent, the same as in 2013, the Insee statistics agency said Thursday.Last year, France's deficit was equivalent to 4.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), smaller than the 4.4 percent originally projected, and compared with 4.1 percent in 2013, Insee said in a statement.The slightly improved result "has opened the possibility ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-999 mln
Exports $2.064 bln
Imports $3.063 bln
WeeklyMarch 13, 2015
Reserves $16.273 bln