WASHINGTON — President Reagan today called for stepped up lending by multinational banks and commercial institutions to assist indebted Third World nations, saying a cooperative approach by both prosperous and poor nations "is the only real answer" to the red-ink problem.
In a speech to the joint meeting of the 151-nation World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, its sister organization, Reagan also renewed his opposition to a tide toward protectionism in the Congress and urged once more the elimination of agricultural subsidies worldwide.
"The huge debt burden carried in the Third World is not just their problem," Reagan said. "It is our problem. And today, let us pledge: We will solve it together."
Reagan told the international financiers gathered not far from the White House that "a number of proposals to strengthen the IMF's ability to promote growth-oriented reform will be advanced soon. But this will not be enough.