Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

The Pentagon announced on Thursday that a high-level U.S. delegation held talks in Niger to discuss the withdrawal of U.S. troops, which the country’s military leaders are demanding.

Nigerien Defense Minister Silifo Modi received the Pentagon delegation led by US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations Christopher Meyer, according to a Pentagon statement.

The talks focused on the withdrawal of U.S. troops deployed in Niger, where about 650 U.S. troops and a number of contract workers are present.

Niger’s transitional authorities said they aimed for an “orderly and safe withdrawal as soon as possible” of U.S. soldiers whose presence the regime has declared “illegal.”

The visit comes as Niger’s military government is increasingly turning to Russia for security support.

On the other hand, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, during his meeting on Wednesday with Niamey Foreign Minister in Tehran, Bakari Yao Sangari, announced Tehran’s readiness to cooperate with the ruling regime in Niger.

Raisi saluted “the resistance of the Nigerien people in the face of European hegemonic policies” and informed the Nigerien foreign minister of Iran’s readiness to cooperate with Niger, especially in the economic fields, AFP quoted the Iranian presidency as saying.

In the wake of the July 26 coup that ousted former President Mohamed Bazoum, many Western countries announced the cessation of aid to Niamey, while the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) imposed sanctions.

The EU took a legal step towards imposing sanctions on Niger’s new military rulers in July, under which it could “punish individuals and entities responsible for acts that threaten the peace, stability and security of Niger,” and the EU suspended security cooperation and financial support to Niger in the wake of the military coup.

This comes as France withdraws its 1,500 soldiers from the Sahel state, following a request from Niger’s new rulers.

Food insecurity threatens 7.5 million people in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger

Related Post