Macron says he speaks ‘every day’ to Niger’s Bazoum, faces junta backlash

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that he spoke on a daily basis with Niger's President Mohamed Bazoum, who has been removed from power in a coup.

"I speak every day to President Bazoum. We support him. We do not recognise those who carried out the putsch. The decisions we will take, whatever they may be, will be based upon exchanges with Bazoum," said Macron.

Macron's comments were published on the Elysee's social media platform and were made as he spoke about educational matters to reporters in southern France.

Earlier Friday, Niger's military junta, which seized power on July 26, accused Macron of using divisive rhetoric in his comments about the coup and of seeking to perpetrate France's neo–colonial relationship with its former colony.

Macron's comments in supporting Bazoum "constitute further blatant interference in Niger's domestic affairs," the regime's spokesman Colonel Amadou Abdramane said in a statement read on nationwide TV.

Relations with France, the country's former colonial power and ally in its fight against jihadism, went swiftly downhill after Paris stood by Bazoum, who was a close ally of France.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, Reuters)

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