Foreign relations of Niger

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Niger pursues a moderate foreign policy and maintains friendly relations with both East and West. [1] It is a member state of the United Nations. Niger maintains a special relationship with France and enjoys close relations with its West African neighbours.


Multilateral relations

US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meet with Niger Ambassador to the United Nations Abdou Abarry Secretary Pompeo and USUN Ambassador Craft Meet with Niger Ambassador to the United Nations Abdou Abarry and Upcoming President of the UN Security Council (50249137863).jpg
US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meet with Niger Ambassador to the United Nations Abdou Abarry

It is a charter member of the Organization of African Unity and the West African Monetary Union and also belongs to the Niger Basin Authority and the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the Economic Community of West African States, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Niger belongs to the United Nations and its main specialized agencies and in 1980-81 served on the UN Security Council. The first president of Niger, Hamani Diori, maintained close relations with the west and became internationally prominent in his diplomatic work, seeking to broker resolutions to conflicts in Africa and beyond. He was particularly prominent in his involvement as a negotiator during the Nigerian Civil War. [2]

Niger maintains a permanent purpose to the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, at 417 East 50th Street. In 2009, its Ambassador to the United Nations was Ibrahim A. Abani. [3]

Bilateral relations

CountryFormal Relations BeganNotes
Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia
  • Diplomatic relations between Armenia and Niger were established on 26 November 2016.
Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan 10 October 1995 [4] On October 10, 1995, the Protocol on the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Niger was signed. [4]
Flag of Benin.svg  Benin

Despite the occasional recurrence of a border conflict over Lete Island in the Niger River, Benin and Niger, both former French subjects of French West Africa, relations are close. Niger relies on the port at Cotonou, and to a lesser degree Lomé (Togo), and Port Harcourt (Nigeria), as its main route to overseas trade. Niger operates a Nigerien Ports Authority station, as well as customs and tax offices in a section of Cotonou's port, so that imports and exports can be directly transported between Gaya and the port. French Uranium mines in Arlit, which produce Niger's largest exports by value, travel through this port to France or the world market.

Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 1962
  • Canada is accredited to Niger from its embassy in Bamako, Mali. [5]
  • Niger is accredited to Canada from its embassy in Washington, D.C., United States. [6]
Flag of Chad.svg  Chad
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 20 July 1974See China-Niger relations

China established diplomatic relations with Niger on July 20, 1974. On June 19, 1992, the transitional government of Niger declared the reestablishment of the "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan. The Chinese Government thus announced its suspension of diplomatic relations with Niger on July 30 of the same year. On August 19, 1996, China and Niger re-established diplomatic relations. [7]

  • China has an embassy in Niamey.
  • Niger has an embassy in Beijing.
Flag of France.svg  France See France-Niger relations

Niger has maintained close ties with France, its former colonial power. Following Niger's independence in 1960, France maintained several hundred advisers at all levels of Niger's government and military. In the 1960s, the Military of Niger was drawn entirely from Nigerien former members of the French Colonial Forces: officered by Frenchmen who agreed to take joint French-Nigerien citizenship. In 1960 there were only ten African officers in the Nigerien army, all of low rank. President Diori signed legislation to end the employment of expatriate military officers in 1965, some continued to serve until the 1974 coup, when all French military presence was evacuated. [8] As well, the French had maintained until 1974 around 1,000 troops of the 4th Régiment Interarmes d'Outre-Mer [9] (Troupes de Marine) with bases at Niamey, Zinder, Bilma and Agadez. In 1979 a smaller French force was again based permanently in Niger. [10]

Franco-Nigerien relations continue to be close, with France as Niger's top export partner (in value), and the French government being almost entirely dependent upon Niger for the Uranium which fuels its extensive Nuclear Power system, mined in the northern town of Arlit. [11]

  • France has an embassy in Niamey.
  • Niger has an embassy in Paris.
Flag of Guyana.svg  Guyana 25 June 1979

Both countries established diplomatic relations on June 25, 1979. [12]

Flag of India.svg  India See India–Niger relations
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy

In December 2017, Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni announced that 470 Italian soldiers would be deployed to Niger in an effort to mitigate the European migrant crisis. [16]

Flag of Kosovo.svg  Kosovo 15 August 2011

Niger officially recognised the Republic of Kosovo on 15 August 2011. [17] Kosovo and Niger established diplomatic relations on 25 January 2013. [18]

Flag of Mali.svg  Mali

Niger has close relations with its neighbour Mali, with large scale trade links and sizable population movement between the two nations. Both were subject states in French West Africa. Niger and Mali have fought related Tuareg insurgencies in their respective northern territories in the 1990s and mid-2000s.

The road border entering Niger from Benin at Gaya. Niger relies on its neighbors, especially Benin and Nigeria for seaports which provide access to world markets. FrontiereBeninNiger.jpg
The road border entering Niger from Benin at Gaya. Niger relies on its neighbors, especially Benin and Nigeria for seaports which provide access to world markets.
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 6 November 1975
  • Mexico is accredited to Niger from its embassy in Abuja, Nigeria. [19]
  • Niger is accredited to Mexico from its embassy in Washington, D.C., United States. [6]
Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria See Niger–Nigeria relations

Nigeria maintains close relations with the Republic of Niger, in part because both nations share a large Hausa minority on each side of their 1,500 km (930 mi) border. Hausa language and cultural ties are strong, but there is little interest in a pan-Hausa state. [20] The two nations formed the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission for Cooperation (NNJC), established in March, 1971 with its Permanent Secretariat in Niamey, Niger. [21]

  • Niger has an embassy in Abuja.
  • Nigeria has an embassy in Niamey.
Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan

Pakistan supports Niger's territorial and sovereign integrity and rejects Libya's advances as aggression.

Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 27 July 1961

Establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and Niger began on July 27, 1961. [22]

Flag of Spain.svg  Spain See Niger–Spain relations
  • Niger is accredited to Spain from its embassy in Paris, France.
  • Spain has an embassy in Niamey.
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 1967 [23] See Niger–Turkey relations
  • Niger has an embassy in Ankara. [23]
  • Turkey has an embassy in Niamey. [23]
  • Trade volume between the two countries was 72 million USD in 2019. [23]
Flag of the United States.svg  United States See Niger-United States relations

A conservative foreign policy has meant that under Niger's first president and—following military coup—the 19741991 military government, Niger maintained good relations with the United States, Israel, and NATO governments in general. During the Cold War, Niger maintained a non-confrontational attitude to the Soviet Union and its allies. [24]


Niger's office in Accra, Ghana Niger Flag in Ghana.jpg
Niger's office in Accra, Ghana

Niger has only 24 permanent embassies abroad, although more have permanent representation in Niamey, either through national embassies or other representatives. The United Kingdom, for instance, operates its permanent office for relations to Niger from Accra, Ghana, while Niger's permanent representative resides at the Nigerien Embassy in Paris.

Many other small or distant nations have no formal diplomatic relations with Niamey except through their respective consulates at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Australia, for instance, only signed the instruments of formal diplomatic relations with Niamey on 7 May 2009, through their respective consular officials at the UN. [3]

Border disputes

Libya has in the past claimed a strip along their border of about 19,400 km² in northern Niger. There have been several decades of unresolved discussions regarding the delimitation of international boundaries in the vicinity of Lake Chad between Niger, Nigeria, Chad, and Cameroon. The lack of firm borders, as well as the receding of the lake in the 20th century led to border incidents between Cameroon and Chad in the past. An agreement has been completed and awaits ratification by Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria.

Niger has an ongoing conflict with Benin over Lété Island, an island in the River Niger approx. 16 kilometres long and 4 kilometres wide, located around 40 kilometers from the town of Gao, Niger. Together with other smaller islands in the River Niger, it was the main object of a territorial dispute between Niger and Benin, which had begun when the two entities were still under French rule. The island, and seasonally flooded land around it is valuable to semi-nomadic Puel cattle herders as a dry season pasturage. The two countries had almost gone to war over their border in 1963 but finally chose to settle by peaceful means. In the early 90s a joint delimitation commission was tasked with solving the issue but could not reach an agreement. In 2001 the two parties chose to have the International Court of Justice (ICJ) decide on the matter once and for all. In 2005, the ICJ ruled in Niger's favour. [25]

Niger has ongoing processes delimiting sections of their borders with Burkina Faso and Mali, disputes which date back to the colonial period. These entities, along with Benin and other nations which do not border Niger, were semi independent elements of French West Africa. Within the colonial administration, borders were frequently changed, with Niger colony once possessing large portions of what is now Burkina Faso and Mali, as well as much of northern Chad, later associated with French Equatorial Africa. Disputes between these post-independence nations have been minor and peaceful.

See also

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Foreign relations of Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso has good relations with the European Union, African and certain Asian countries. France, the former colonial power, in particular, continues to provide significant aid and supports Compaoré's developing role as a regional powerbroker.

Foreign relations of Chad

The foreign relations of Chad are significantly influenced by the desire for oil revenue and investment in Chadian oil industry and support for former Chadian President Idriss Déby. Chad is officially non-aligned but has close relations with France, the former colonial power. Relations with neighbouring Libya, and Sudan vary periodically. Lately, the Idris Déby regime waged an intermittent proxy war with Sudan. Aside from those two countries, Chad generally enjoys good relations with its neighbouring states.

Foreign relations of Cameroon

Cameroon's noncontentious, low-profile approach to foreign relations puts it squarely in the middle of other African and developing country states on major issues. It supports the principles of non-interference in the affairs of third world countries and increased assistance to underdeveloped countries. Cameroon is an active participant in the United Nations, where its voting record demonstrates its commitment to causes that include international peacekeeping, the rule of law, environmental protection, and Third World economic development. In the UN and other human rights fora, Cameroon's non-confrontational approach has generally led it to avoid criticizing other countries.

Geography of Niger

Niger is a landlocked nation in West Africa located along the border between the Sahara and Sub-Saharan regions. Its geographic coordinates are longitude 16°N and latitude 8°E. Its area is 1.267 million square kilometers, of which 1 266 700 km² is land and 300 km² water, making Niger slightly less than twice the size of France.

Foreign relations of Nigeria

Since independence, with Jaja Wachuku as the first Minister for Foreign Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, later called External Affairs, Nigerian foreign policy has been characterised by a focus on Africa as a regional power and by attachment to several fundamental principles: African unity and independence; capability to exercise hegemonic influence in the region: peaceful settlement of disputes; non-alignment and non-intentional interference in the internal affairs of other nations; and regional economic cooperation and development. In carrying out these principles, Nigeria participates in the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Non-Aligned Movement, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the United Nations.

Foreign relations of Benin

After seizing power in the 1972 coup d'état, Major Mathieu Kérékou declared the Republic of Dahomey a Marxist-Leninist state and sought financial support from communist governments in Eastern Europe and Asia. To distance the modern state from its colonial past, the country became the People's Republic of Benin in 1975. However, Benin dropped the socialist ideology in 1989 following pressure from creditors and domestic unrest related to economic hardship.

The individual member states of the African Union (AU) coordinate foreign policy through this agency, in addition to conducting their own international relations on a state-by-state basis. The AU represents the interests of African peoples at large in intergovernmental organizations (IGO's); for instance, it is a permanent observer at the United Nations' General Assembly.

Trans-Sahelian Highway

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Niger–Nigeria relations Diplomatic relations between the Republic of the Niger and the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Niger–Nigeria relations refers to the current and historical relationship between Niger and Nigeria. Relations are based on a long shared border and common cultural and historical interactions.

Chad–Nigeria border

The Chad–Nigeria border is 85 km in length and consists of a single diagonal line running NW to SE from the tripoint with Niger in the north to the tripoint with Cameroon in the south.

Burkina Faso–Niger border

The Burkina Faso–Niger border is 622 km in length and runs from the tripoint with Mali in the north to the tripoint with Benin in the south.


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  2. Samuel Decalo. Historical Dictionary of Niger (3rd ed.). Scarecrow Press, Boston & Folkestone, (1997) ISBN   0-8108-3136-8
  3. 1 2 "Diplomatie/le Niger et la République d'Australie établissent des relations diplomatiques". Le Sahel . 12 May 2009
  4. 1 2 "Niger". Retrieved 2021-01-24.
  5. Canada, Global Affairs (August 27, 2019). "Canada and Mali". GAC.
  6. 1 2 "Embassy of Niger to the United States of America – Embassy of Niger to the United States of America".
  7. "Niger --".
  8. for the section History of the FAN prior to 1974, see Samuel Decalo. Historical Dictionary of Niger (2nd ed.). Scarecrow Press, London and New Jersey (1979). ISBN   0-8108-1229-0 pp.33?35.
  9. 4e Régiment Interarmes d'Outre-Mer: the 4th RIAOM was dissolved after leaving Niger.
  10. Samuel Decalo. Coups and Army Rule in Africa, Yale University Press (1990). ISBN   0-300-04045-8
  11. Decalo (1997).
  12. "Countries with which Guyana has Establishment Diplomatic Relations – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation| Co-operative Republic of Guyana".
  13. "e-Visa Inde - Formulaire 2021 - Document officiel". 🇮🇳 e-Visa Inde.
  14. "MEA | Indian Missions Abroad | Indian Mission".
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  16. Agence France-Presse (December 28, 2017). "Italy to send almost 500 troops to Niger to stem migrant flow: PM". The Local . Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  17. The Republic of Niger and the Republic of Guinea Conakry recognize Kosovo’s independence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, 2011-08-16
  18. "Republika e Kosovës dhe Republika e Nigerit vendosin marrëdhëniet diplomatike" (in Albanian). Ambasada e Republikës së Kosovës në Paris. 2013-01-25. Retrieved 2013-02-04.
  19. "Inicio".
  20. William F. S. Miles. "Development, not division: local versus external perceptions of the Niger-Nigeria boundary". The Journal of Modern African Studies (2005), 43:2:297-320
  23. 1 2 3 4 "Relations between Turkey and Niger".
  24. Decalo (1997), Decalo (1990).
  25. Fabio Spadi (2005) The ICJ Judgment in the Benin-Niger Border Dispute: the interplay of titles and ‘effectivités’ under the uti possidetis juris principle, Leiden Journal of International Law 18: 777-794