The United States said Tuesday it still held out hope for reversing Niger’s coup but was “realistic,” a day after a top US envoy made no visible progress.

“We do still have hope, but we are also very realistic,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters.
“We do have hope that the situation will be reversed but at the same time, we are making clear, including in direct conversations with junta leaders themselves, what the consequences are for failing to return to constitutional order,” Miller said.

Acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland paid an unannounced visit to Niger on Monday to press for the release of the elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, but acknowledged the talks were difficult.
A day after Nuland’s mission, Niger’s military leaders told the West African bloc ECOWAS that they cannot receive a proposed mission to Niamey for “security” reasons, according to an official letter seen by AFP.
“I think it’s very unfortunate and it is in keeping with the message that we heard from them yesterday,” Miller said of the refusal to allow the mission.

“We’re going to keep trying, again fully recognizing how difficult that path is.”

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