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Italy increases anti-terror funds to Niger

Italy increases anti-terror funds to Niger

Italy's Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano on Friday announced that they will be increasing aid to Niger.

Alfano made the announcement during the opening of Italy's first embassy based in the Sahel region, located in Niger's capital Niamey.

The Italian Foreign Minister met with Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou, where discussions around security were top of the agenda. Another priority discussed was the need for closer economic cooperation between the two countries.

Italy will be directing 40 percent of its African aid budget to Niger, which is one of five countries in the Sahel region to have set up a joint counter-terrorism force to address the threat of the jihadist movement.

The other countries participating in the task force are Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.

The Italian foreign ministry alluded in a tweet that the two countries also discussed the ongoing migrant crisis.

Italy's increased aid comes in addition to an announcement made by the European Union last year to give the Sahel G-5 more than €50-million (around R75-million) towards funding the task force.

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