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France Shuts Down Its Niger Embassy

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France

France announced the indefinite closure of its embassy in Niger and the termination of the employment contracts of embassy staff, according to a letter sent to embassy staff and seen by Xinhua on Friday.

French Ambassador to Niger Sylvain Itte said in the letter that since the coup and the violent attack in July, the French embassy has not been able to carry out the full range of functions devolved to a diplomatic representation due to the restrictions imposed on it by the Nigerien authorities.

Despite repeated requests, the competent Nigerien authorities have not responded favorably to the maintenance of the activities of the French Embassy in Niger under normal conditions, he added.

The decision to close the embassy came just hours before the departure of the last of the 1,500 French soldiers previously based in Niger, as part of the process of French disengagement at the request of Niger’s new authorities, and also followed the expulsion of the current French ambassador as well as the denunciation of defense agreements by Niamey

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