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France’s Ambassador to Niger Will Stay Despite Pressure to Leave 

On Monday, President Emmanuel Macron also reiterated France’s support to Niger’s overthrown President Mohamed Bazoum, whose decision not to resign Macron called courageous. Macron also said Paris would support any military action by The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Niger. The French leader, who was speaking during a major foreign policy speech to ambassadors gathered in Paris, confirmed that French envoy Sylvain Itte was listening in from Niger’s capital Niamey despite being given a 48-hour deadline to leave the country. On Friday, Niger’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that French ambassador Itte had 48 hours to leave, saying he had refused to meet with the new rulers and citing French government actions that were “contrary to the interests of Niger”. Macron insisted that France would not change its position in condemning the coup and offering support to Bazoum, stressing he had been democratically elected. “I think our policy is the right one. It’s based on the courage of President Bazoum, and on the commitments of our ambassador on the ground who is remaining despite all the pressure, despite all the declarations made by the illegitimate authorities,” said Macron.