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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada and Australia are backing Mexico's Augustin Carstens to head the International Monetary Fund, they said in a joint statement on Friday in an apparent bid to end Europe's traditional lock on the position.
Carstens, currently central bank governor in Mexico, is competing for the job with French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde.
"Augustin Carstens' previous experience in the IMF, combined with his background as finance minister of Mexico and his current position as governor of the Mexican central bank, equip him very well to understand and address, on a collaborative and inclusive basis with IMF member countries, the challenges faced by the global economy," said a statement by Canada and Australia, released by Ottawa.
"Accordingly, after due consideration of the candidates and the IMF selection criteria, we have decided to support him for the position of IMF managing director."
The two governments said both Carstens and Lagarde were "highly credible" candidates.
Reporting by Louise Egan; editing by Rob Wilson