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USA. White House: Military coup in Niger could empower extremists

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A military coup in Niger could bolster extremists active in the Sahel and destabilize the region, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Friday. He also referred to reports that the US is considering a “grand deal” in the Middle East.

– A military coup can make it United States may stop collaborating on security with the government Niger, jeopardizing the current partnership. Such a coup would bolster extremist organizations, undermine national stability and further worsen the situation and violence in the region, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said at a press briefing.

As he said, the US supports UN and African regional organizations in their efforts to support President Mohamed Bazoum, who was detained by the putschists. As he added, representatives of the United States, including the secretary of state Anthony Blinken have had talks with Bazoum and his entourage, but he knows nothing about talks with “this guy named Tchiani” who has declared himself the leader of the junta.

Despite threats to stop security cooperation with Niger, a representative of the White House stated that for the time being he knew nothing about plans to move about 1.1 thousand people. US troops stationed in the country to fight Islamic extremists.

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Military coup in NigerISSIFOU DJIBO/PAP/EPA

Kirby on plans for a “great deal” in the Middle East

During the briefing, Kirby also referred to the reports of the “New York Times”, which – referring to a conversation with President Biden – wrote that the US is considering a “grand deal” in the Middle East regarding the normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

According to newspaper columnist Thomas Friedman, the Saudis want, among other things, a treaty guaranteeing that the US will come to Arabia’s aid in the event of aggression, as well as assistance in the development of civilian nuclear energy.

Kirby said it was too early to talk about what such an agreement might look like, but acknowledged that normalizing relations between the Saudis and Israel is a “big part” of the US strategy. This is also the topic of talks of Biden’s adviser Jake Sullivan during his ongoing visit to the Middle East and talks with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman.

Biden will receive the president of Korea and the prime minister of Japan

The official also announced that on August 18, the US president will receive Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at Camp David for talks on cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, including the threat from North Korea.

Kirby reiterated that President Biden was ready to sit down with the Pyongyang regime on denuclearization.

When asked about the funds to support Ukraine, Kirby confirmed earlier estimates that the money passed by Congress would last until the end of the current fiscal year, i.e. until the end of September. He added that the White House “certainly won’t be shy” about asking Congress for another package.

Main photo source: ISSIFOU DJIBO/PAP/EPA

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