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Blinken says US backs ECOWAS efforts on Niger

Blinken says US backs ECOWAS efforts on Niger   -  
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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday voiced support for efforts of the West African bloc ECOWAS on Niger without explicitly backing its call at a summit for military intervention.

The United States has in recent days cautioned that military force should be only a last resort and that diplomacy was the best way to resolve the crisis.

**_"Deputy Secretary of State Nuland as you know was just in Niger. She had an opportunity to speak directly to the military leaders who've undertaken this action and made clear to them the imperative of restoring constitutional order as well as everything that's at risk if they don't. As significantly, ECOWAS, the organization that brings together West African countries, is playing a lead role in making clear the imperative of the return to constitutional order, and we very much support ECOWAS' leadership and work on this."_**he said.

The United States will hold the junta that took power in Niger accountable for the safety of democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum, his family, and detained members of the government, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday.

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