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Euro zone's Dijsselbloem says next loan to Greece may not come soon

Dutch Finance Minister and Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem rings the bell at the start of a eurozone finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium February 20, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The next disbursement of financial aid to Greece from its euro zone lenders may not be imminent as talks are still complicated, the head of euro zone finance ministers said on Monday, adding that the target was to secure a deal as soon as possible.

"There is still a lot of work to do," Jeroen Dijsselbloem told a news conference after a meeting of finance ministers in Brussels.

"I want to temper expectations. There is no need for a disbursement in March, April or May," he said. Greece will need new funds to pay its debt by July.

Dijsselbloem added that he hoped that a deal on Greek reforms and on the next disbursement can be reached "as soon as possible", but declined to answer a question on whether the next loan will hinge on the participation of the International Monetary Fund to the bailout.

This is a condition imposed by Germany, although the IMF has not yet decided on its role in the Greek bailout.

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)