Niger’s Prime Minister, Ali Mahamane Lamine Zeine, says there are hopes of reaching an agreement with West Africa’s regional bloc ECOWAS, following the group’s hard-line position on the coup in the country.

Zeine, who was appointed by the junta, was making his first appearance at a press conference in the capital, Niamey.

The New Prime Minister, also maintained that they would defend themselves if attacked, saying every preparation has been taken.

He said negotiations were under way for the withdrawal of French troops from the country.