EU 'does not and will not' recognize coup administration in Niger

EU 'does not and will not' recognize coup administration in Niger

In addition to immediately cutting off budget support, all cooperation on security matters suspended, says EU foreign policy chief

By Beyza Binnur Donmez

GENEVA (AA) - The EU "does not recognize and will not recognize" the authorities that took power in this week’s coup in Niger, the bloc's foreign policy chief said on Saturday.

Underlining that elected President Mohamed Bazoum "remains the only legitimate" president, Josep Borrell said in a statement: "His release must be unconditional and without delay."

Borrell warned that announcement of the suspension of the Constitution and the dissolution of democratic institutions in the country weakens both the state and the people of Niger.

"The European Union reiterates its very clear calls for the full and complete restoration, without delay, of constitutional order and fully associates itself with the declarations of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) and its African and international partners in this regard," he said.

The EU stands ready to support future decisions by the ECOWAS bloc, including the adoption of sanctions, he emphasized.

Stressing that the "unacceptable attack" on the integrity of Niger will not be without consequences, he said: "In this regard, in addition to the immediate cessation of budget support, all cooperation actions in the security field are suspended sine die (indefinitely) with immediate effect."

Earlier this week, a group of soldiers calling themselves the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Country delivered a statement on Nigerien state TV shortly after detaining Bazoum, saying they took the step due to the “deteriorating security situation and bad governance.”

Bazoum was elected in 2021 in Niger’s first democratic power transition since it gained independence from French colonial rule in 1960.

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