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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Greece and its international creditors made progress on talks to disburse new loans to Athens under a bailout programme but new meetings are necessary next week to reach a deal, the euro zone bailout fund said on Thursday.
"Important progress has been made on a balanced fiscal package for the post-programme period and a number of key reforms, notably in the financial sector," a spokesman for the European Stability Mechanism said after meetings in Athens that involved euro zone creditors, the Internal Monetary Fund and the Greek government.
But the spokesman added that other meetings will be necessary and have been scheduled for next week.
The aim is to "rapidly" reach a technical agreement that could lead to a political deal at the next monthly meeting of euro zone finance ministers, scheduled in Brussels on March 20.
The IMF participated in the talks "in the context of the negotiations of its own programme", the ESM spokesman said. The IMF has not yet decided whether to take part in the current 86-billion-euro bailout programme, the third since 2010 for the Mediterranean country.
Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Editing by Mark Trevelyan