NIAMEY (AFP) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will travel to Niger for a two-day visit, his first to the world’s fourth uranium producer, the government in Niamey said on Saturday.
“The president of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will come for a two-day visit in our country beginning on Monday,” according to a government statement read out on national television Saturday.
“He will lead a large delegation and both our nations will discuss cooperation and means of strengthening it,” Iran’s ambassador told reporters after a meeting with Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou.
Mohammad Nikkhah said the visit would mark a turning point in bilateral ties and would yield “excellent opportunities that will benefit both peoples”.
He did not elaborate but Niger is one of the world’s top producers of uranium, which Iran has long been seeking to acquire for its controversial nuclear programme.
Niamey has recently criticised its historical agreement with France, which gets most of its uranium from the former colony, and has demanded a fairer share of the profits generated by uranium ore mining.
Niger’s foreign minister visited Tehran in February.