UPDATE 1-IMF says in talks with Ethiopia on reform plans over new program

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JOHANNESBURG, Nov 4 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund on Friday welcomed the signing of a peace accord in Ethiopia as "a critical step towards restoring lasting peace and stability" and said discussions were ongoing on reforms that could lead to a potential fund program.

The Ethiopian government and regional forces from Tigray agreed on Wednesday to cease hostilities, a dramatic diplomatic breakthrough two years into a war that has killed thousands, displaced millions and left hundreds of thousands facing famine.

The East African country requested a debt restructuring under the G20's Common Framework process in early 2021, which it hoped would unlock IMF funding. Its state finance minister acknowledged last month in an


with Reuters that the war was a key factor in the delay.

"We welcome the signing of the peace agreement," an IMF spokesperson said in a message to Reuters.

"Fund staff have ongoing discussions with the authorities on their reform plans which could set the ground for negotiating a potential new Fund program." (Reporting by Rachel Savage; Editing by James Macharia Chege)