WASHINGTON (AFP) - The International Monetary Fund on Friday said it was releasing to Ireland 1.48 billion euros ($2.11 billion) in the newest step of the country's joint EU-IMF bailout program. The IMF said Ireland had maintained "resolute implementation" of the economic restructuring program aimed at reducing debt and shoring up its financial sector, and that the Irish economy "is showing signs of stabilization." The release came after the third-stage review of Ireland's progress under the 85-billion-euro bailout set last December. The IMF said the government remained committed to restructuring, but also said that the country was facing some challenges to expanding its economy. "The Irish authorities have maintained resolute implementation of their economic program," the IMF said in a statement. "The economy is showing signs of stabilization and financial market conditions have also recently improved. Ireland's economy, however, faces a weakening in trading partner growth, which could dampen the pace of Ireland's recovery in the near term." The IMF said the Irish authorities had made strong progress in financial-sector reforms, including completing bank recapitalization and making gains in deleveraging the banks. "Prospects for banks' to regain market access would be enhanced by greater confidence in medium-term availability of ECB (European Central Bank) financing," the IMF added.