The International Monetary Fund approved a new $685 million loan for Iraq
, giving the country a critical endorsement of its economic performance.
The loan, approved Friday by the lending institution's 24-member executive board, represents the IMF's seal of approval that the Iraq government is taking the proper approach to reviving its wartorn economy. The loan should open the door to more funding from countries that want to participate in Iraq's reconstruction.
"The Iraqi authorities were successful in promoting macroeconomic stability in 2005, despite the extremely difficult security environment," IMF Deputy Managing Director Takatoshi Kato said in a statement announcing the agreement.