France's Lagarde 'confident' on top IMF job
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, whose sights are set on the top job at the International Monetary Fund, said on Saturday in Saudi Arabia she was "full of confidence."
"I am very confident," Lagarde told journalists in Jeddah, the economic capital of the world's top oil exporter, after "satisfying" meetings with King Abdullah and her Saudi counterpart, Ibrahim Assaf.
Lagarde "is very competent and well-known as a successful minister... we must choose the right person to head (the IMF) without consideration for nationality, language or country," Assaf said.
Despite a whirlwind world tour that has taken her from Brasilia to Beijing via New Delhi, Lagarde has failed to lock official backing from emerging powers in the race to become managing director of the world's crisis lender.
Her rival, Mexico's central bank chief Agustin Carstens, has hardly done better, failing to garner the support of a fellow Latin American nation after a visit to Brazil.
The IMF's top post opened unexpectedly after Frenchman Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned on May 18 to fight sexual assault charges in New York.
Both candidates are courting the so called BRICS -- Brazil, Russia, India and China -- which are unsettled by a transatlantic quid pro quo that has seen the position alternate between IMF power Washington and the Europeans since 1946.
The 24-member executive board, representing all the IMF's members, has targeted the end of June to reach a consensus on one of the candidates, the way it has decided in the past.
© 2011 AFP