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Niger: U.S. Ready to Resume Cooperation with Conditions

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On Wednesday in Niamey, the United States announced their readiness to resume cooperation with Niger, on the condition that the military regime that came to power at the end of July in a coup commits to a notably brief transition.

Washington suspended its cooperation with Niger after the July 26 coup that overthrew the elected president, Mohamed Bazoum.

During her visit to Niamey since Tuesday, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for African Affairs held discussions with several Nigerien officials, including the Prime Minister appointed by the military, Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine.

She emphasized that the Nigerien military power must announce "a deadline for a rapid and credible transition" leading to "a democratically elected government."

"We have confirmed that we are ready to resume our cooperation if the CNSP (military regime) takes the steps I have outlined," she added to the press on Wednesday.

The military proposes a maximum three-year transition period before returning power to civilians, with its duration determined by "a national dialogue" that will be convened imminently.

Regarding the fate of the former president, Ms. Phee indicated that they have "agreed to reach a satisfactory solution" for him, "his family, and members of his government."

Since the coup that ousted him, Mohamed Bazoum has been confined to his residence with his wife and son. Several former dignitaries have been arrested or have fled the country.

On Sunday, Ms. Phee participated in a summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) presidents in Abuja, which maintained heavy economic and financial sanctions imposed on Niger after the coup, conditioning their easing on a notably "short transition."

"I encourage the CNSP (military regime) to respond positively to the ECOWAS offer for negotiation; the United States supports the resolutions of the regional organization," clarified the U.S. diplomat.

Furthermore, the new U.S. ambassador to Niger, Kathleen FitzGibbon, who arrived in Niamey in mid-August, will soon present her credentials to the authorities, as assured by the Nigerien Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bakary Yaou Sangaré, in early December.

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