Peres urges IMF director to help ME out of poverty

The IMF can play a cardinal role in helping Middle East communities, the president says in Davos.

President Shimon Peres speaks in Davos (photo credit: REUTERS)
President Shimon Peres speaks in Davos
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Since the beginnings of the Arab Spring, President Shimon Peres has attributed the uprisings of populations in various Middle Eastern countries to two main factors: a desire for freedom and democracy and a quest to escape poverty.
Peres believes that the International Monetary Fund can play a cardinal role in helping several Middle East communities out of the cycle of poverty, and said so in Davos on Friday, when he and Bank of Israel Gov. Stanley Fischer met with IMF Director Christine Lagarde.
All three were among the 2,000 plus dignitaries attending the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. The Arab Spring, Peres emphasized, was not just a call for political change, but more than anything else an attempt to escape the terrible poverty in which millions of people in the region are trapped.
The international community can be a leading proponent in the economic development of these countries, and in this way can help the moderates to triumph over the extremists, he said.
Lagarde, taking into account the global economic crisis, responded that to stimulate economic growth, it was essential for all countries of the international community to cooperate fully.
The other topic that Peres addressed both in open forums and in numerous private meetings with heads of state, prime ministers and other people of influence was the Iranian problem, not just in terms of Iran becoming a nuclear power, but also with relation to it funding terrorist organizations in various parts of the world. Peres specifically referred to Hezbollah and Hamas, and warned that terrorism knows no borders and can strike anywhere.