US says new ambassador will arrive in Niger

US says new ambassador will arrive in Niger

'We do look forward to Ambassador FitzGibbon's arrival in Niamey,' State Department says

By Iclal Turan

WASHINGTON (AA) - The US confirmed Wednesday that US Ambassador to Niger, Kathleen FitzGibbon, will arrive in Niamey, although it did not say when she would travel.

"We are pleased to see that Ambassador FitzGibbon was confirmed in late July after what was a year-long confirmation process. And we do look forward to Ambassador FitzGibbon's arrival in Niamey," State Department deputy spokesman Vedant Patel said when asked if he could confirm the new envoy will arrive in Niger by the end of the week.

"She is going there to lead the mission during a critical time to support the American community and to coordinate on the US government's efforts," Patel said, while noting that FitzGibbon's arrival "does not reflect a change in our position."

"We continue to advocate for a diplomatic solution that respects the constitutional order in Niger and for the immediate release of President Bazoum and his family. And we remain committed to working with African partners to promote security, stability and democratic governance in the Sahel," he said.

Gen. Abdourahamane Tiani, the former commander of Niger's presidential guard, declared himself the head of a transitional government last month after President Mohamed Bazoum was ousted by military intervention July 26.

The Economic Community of West African States last week ordered the activation of its standby force to "restore constitutional order" in Niger.

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