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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 September 2005, 08:33 GMT 09:33 UK
Mugabe criticises 'unhelpful' IMF
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is greeted by Cuba's Foreign Minister Felipe Ramon Perez Roque
President Robert Mugabe is in Cuba for talks with leader Fidel Castro
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has criticised the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as doing little to help developing countries.

His comments came a day after the IMF decided to defer for six months a ruling on whether to expel Zimbabwe because of its unpaid debts.

Mr Mugabe, in Cuba for talks with its leader Fidel Castro, said IMF policy was dictated by the major world powers.

Zimbabwe's finance minister earlier welcomed the IMF move to delay action.

'Never be friends'

Mr Mugabe, making his ninth visit to Cuba, said the IMF is "almost never a real assistance to developing countries".

The organisation is "willed by the big powers which dictate what it should do", Zimbabwe's president claimed.

"We have never been friends with the IMF and in the future we will never be friends of the IMF," he added.

Zimbabwe has been in arrears with the IMF since February 2001 because of a failure to pay interest on $4.5bn (2.5bn) borrowed from the fund.

Last month, it unexpectedly repaid $120m, but needs to find $175m more.

Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa said Zimbabwe had made "significant progress" in reducing its debt and bringing in reforms.

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