31 January 2013

Niger: U.S. State Department Daily Press Briefing: Niger

Photo: Blyzz/Flickr
An Unmanned Ariel Vehicle, or drone, used for surveillance (file photo).


Excerpt from the United States Department of State daily press briefing:

QUESTION: (Inaudible.) Is there now an agreement with Niger to base U.S. drones in Niger?

MS. NULAND: Well, I think you saw some statements that we put out yesterday making clear that after more than a year of work, we have now signed a Status of Forces Agreement with the Government of Niger. I'm obviously not going to get into intelligence issues, but this enables us to work more closely in military-to-military channels and other channels with the Government of Niger on issues that we share concerns about.

Obviously Mali is front and center, and we're working with them on this AFISMA deployment as well.

QUESTION: Was this done in connection with the French, or it's only the U.S.?

MS. NULAND: Well, obviously we coordinate with the French in our approach. The French, as you know, are focused on their activities in Mali and on the EU training mission for Malians, as we and other countries are focused on getting the ECOWAS forces up and in.


QUESTION: You mentioned earlier Nigerian forces. Are they from Nigeria or from Niger?

MS. NULAND: No. We have Nigerien forces there and we have Nigerians on their way. All right?

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