Any attack on French interests in Niger will spur swift response - French presidency

  • World
  • Sunday, 30 Jul 2023

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron looks on, as he visits the Marseille-Fos industrial dock in Marseille, southeastern France, on June 28, 2023. LUDOVIC MARIN/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Any attack on French nationals or interests in Niger will provoke a strong immediate reaction from France, the French government said on Sunday, as pro-junta protests took place outside the French Embassy in Niamey following last week's military coup.

"The President (Emmanuel Macron) will not tolerate any attack against France and its interests," Macron's office said in a statement, specifying that it would respond to attacks against French diplomats, armed forces or businesses.

Macron has spoken with ousted President Mohamed Bazoum and former president of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou in the last few hours, the statement said, adding that both of them condemned the coup and called for calm.

France announced on Saturday it was cutting all development aid to Niger and called for the return of Bazoum. Niger has been a security partner of former colonial power France, and the United States, which have used it as a base to fight an Islamist insurgency in West and Central Africa's wider Sahel region.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau and Layli Foroudi; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Frances Kerry)

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