RIYADH (AFP) – British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Sunday it is in the interests of oil-rich Gulf states to give funds to help countries hit by the world financial crisis.
On the second day of a brief Gulf tour that started in Saudi Arabia, Brown also backed an enhanced role for them in international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
By boosting the IMF’s current 250 billion dollar bailout facility, Brown told British and Saudi business leaders in Riyadh, Gulf states could prevent financial “contagion” spreading.
“I very much hope that as part of that, you and other Gulf states will be willing to join with other countries to help stop the financial crisis spreading by helping to boost the international fund for distressed economies,” he said.
“I believe it is in all our interests to stop this contagion and to rebuild confidence in the financial system for the future.”
He also backed “reforming the international institutions… to give countries like your own a bigger place in the order.”
Saudi Arabia has “a crucial role to play” at the G20 international summit in Washington on November 15, Brown added.
Leaders from rich nations and emerging powers will discuss a restructuring of the world financial system, including the IMF, at the meeting.
Saudi Arabia is the only Gulf state that is a member of the G20.