Iran says ready to cooperate with new Niger regime

AFP , Wednesday 25 Oct 2023

President Ebrahim Raisi expressed Iran's desire to cooperate with the regime that came to power in Niger in a July military takeover when he received its foreign minister on Wednesday.

Iran Niger
This handout picture provided by the Iranian foreign ministry on October 24, 2023 shows Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian (L) and his team during a meeting with Niger s Bakary Yaou Sangare (R), who was made foreign minister after the coup, in Tehran. AFP


At a meeting with Bakary Yaou Sangare, Raisi described "the resistance of the Nigerien people against European hegemonic policies as the testimony of Africa's refusal of colonialism", the Iranian presidency website reported.

Niger, where a military junta seized power on July 26 by overthrowing president Mohamed Bazoum, had seen mass protests calling for troops of former colonial ruler France to leave.

France is currently pulling out its 1,500-strong military deployment to the Sahel country following a demand from Niger's new rulers.

Raisi told Sangare Iran was "ready to cooperate with Niger", particularly "in economic areas", the presidency website said.

Niger is suffering heavy economic sanctions imposed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and many Western countries have cut off development aid.

On September 4, Raisi "praised the resistance of African countries in the face of colonialism and terrorism" when he received Olivia Rouamba, foreign minister in the transitional government of Burkina Faso, a neighbour of Niger.

After a military takeover in 2022, Burkina Faso's transitional government expressed a wish to diversify its partners, moving closer in particular to Russia, as has also been the case with neighbouring Mali.

Tehran has been bolstering ties across the African continent in an effort to reduce its isolation and offset the impact of crippling sanctions reimposed since the 2018 withdrawal of the United States from an internationally negotiated nuclear deal.

In July, Raisi undertook a rare Africa tour that took him to Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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