Washington: US State Department Matthew Miller said that Acting Secretary Victoria Nuland met with leaders of the junta in Niger, making it clear that there would be consequences if they didn’t return to the diplomatic path.

Miller also added that there are hundreds of millions of dollars of US assistance at stake in Niger.

Miller was asked after the acting Deputy Secretary Victoria Nuland’s meetings with the Junta Military members if there was any idea where things are going.

Replying to the question, US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said, "Acting Secretary Nuland met yesterday with leaders of the junta and made clear that there was a diplomatic path forward for them if they would choose a return to constitutional order."

"She also made clear that there would be consequences if they didn’t, that there are hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. assistance at stake," Miller added.

Miller further informed that Nuland didn’t achieve any breakthroughs and it’s not at all clear that the Junta Military will choose the diplomatic path forward.

He also informed that Nuland also met with civil society leaders, leaders of NGOs while she was in Niger.

The new military leaders of Niger have rejected diplomatic efforts by the United States, the United Nations, and regional organisations to resolve a problem brought on by a coup in the West African country. This has dimmed expectations that civilian authority will be reinstated soon, The New York Times reported.

The acting US deputy secretary of state went unannounced to Niger, although she only stayed for conversations with one of the coup leaders, which she called "extremely frank and at times quite difficult."

The general she spoke with was regarded as a close US military ally and had received his training there. But according to Nuland, he gave no guarantees that civilian rule or the reinstatement of Niger's President Mohamed Bazoum. She was also refused a meeting with Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani, the head of the junta, according to The New York Times.

The situation in Niger has threatened to derail years of Western security and aid assistance to one of the world’s poorest countries and a key ally in a region stricken by widespread instability that has been the site of seven military takeovers in less than three years.