A delegation from the International Monetary Fund wrapped up negotiations with the Azerbaijani government during a meeting with President Haidar Aliev in Baku on February 4. The delegation noted Baku’s success in reducing inflation to 6.8 percent in 1996 and in achieving macroeconomic stabilization through stringent budget, monetary, and tax policies. The stage has been set for turning economic decline in the non-oil sectors into growth, the IMF concluded. The delegation and the government signed a Memorandum on IMF support for Azerbaijan’s economic reforms. The document envisages $219 million worth of credits to finance government programs aimed at promoting economic growth in Azerbaijan from 1997-1999. That amount marks a significant increase in the level of IMF support for Azerbaijan. (International Financial Agency, January 5)
Pro-Dushanbe Group Seizes Hostages.