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People stand in line to buy domestic gas tanks near a distributor, amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 1, 2022. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

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COLOMBO, June 10 (Reuters) - An International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation will visit Sri Lanka on June 20 for talks as the country looks for a loan programme from the lender to deal with its worst economic crisis in seven decades, the prime minister's office said on Friday.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe "was hopeful that a staff-level agreement would be reached by the end of the month," his office said in a statement.

The island nation of 22 million people is grappling with shortages of essentials, including fuel, cooking gas and medicines, after it ran out of foreign currency for even basic imports.

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Reporting by Uditha Jayasinghe, Writing by Devjyot Ghoshal; Editing by Toby Chopra

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