U.S. Expresses Willingness to Resume Cooperation with Niger

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In a diplomatic visit to Niamey this week, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for African Affairs, Molly Phee, has outlined the conditions under which the United States is prepared to renew its military and developmental collaboration with Niger.

A concise two months have passed since the United States delineated the terms for re-engaging with Niger, reflecting a strategic approach. Notably, this period is two weeks shorter than the time it took for the U.S. State Department to officially classify the events of July 26th, when the CNSP assumed power, as a coup.

During her visit to Niamey, Molly Phee held discussions with the Prime Minister and various members of the CNSP government. The primary condition for resuming cooperation is the announcement of a “swift and credible transition” leading to the formation of a “democratically elected government.” The military authorities propose a maximum transition period of three years, with the duration to be determined through an imminent “national dialogue.”

The American diplomat emphasizes the need to reach a satisfactory resolution for former President Mohamed Bazoum, who enjoyed U.S. support, along with his family and government officials who remain in detention. Phee encourages the CNSP to engage in negotiations with the ECOWAS, which the U.S. supports, for the gradual lifting of sanctions.

Molly Phee articulates the U.S. commitment to being a reliable partner for Niger, underscoring the prerequisite for Niger to reciprocate as a dependable partner for the United States. Historically, Niger has played a crucial role in combating regional jihadism, notably from the U.S. airbase in Agadez.

In concluding her statements, Phee emphasizes the importance of a cooperative relationship, echoing the sentiment that while the United States seeks to be a stalwart ally for Niger, the expectation is that Niger must, in turn, be a steadfast partner for the United States.

Soukaina Sghir

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