India Supports Best Candidate for IMF Post: PM

New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday said India supported the "best" available candidate, irrespective of nationality, as the next International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief -- a top post that is lying vacant after the disgraceful exit of Dominique Strauss-Kahn following his arrest on charges of sexually attacking a hotel maid in New York.

"Our view is that best available person regardless of nationality should be selected for the post (of IMF chief)," Manmohan Singh said in a joint press conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel here.

Merkel is leading a large delegation of ministers and businessmen to India on her day-long official visit to Delhi as part of an Asian tour that will also take her to Singapore. In India, she will be receiving the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding later Tuesday evening.

The two leaders were speaking to the media after they held talks on various regional and global issues. But Manmohan Singh said the issue of next IMF chief did not come up during his talks with the chancellor.

"Quite honestly, we have not had any discussion on that," he said.

Historically, the top IMF position is held by a European but India and China - among the five fastest growing emerging markets - had indicated that they would seek reform of the top international institutions.

Kahn, a French national, resigned as the IMF chief this month after being charged with attempted rape.


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