PARIS, Sept 5 (Aljazeera) - France is reported to be in talks with Niger’s military about possible withdrawal of French troops from the West African nation in the wake of the fraying of ties following a coup in July, according to French media reports.

Confirming the news, former French ambassador to Mali and Senegal Nicolas Normand told Al Jazeera that according to his sources, talks were ongoing between the French and Niger militaries to “partially” withdraw troops.

Normand said that his source, who remains anonymous, indicated the discussions should not be seen as a recognition of the coup leaders, but a “technical” discussion between the two militaries.

A defence ministry source, who asked not to be named, told AFP that discussions on the withdrawal of “certain military elements” were under way. The source did not give details.

France has been at loggerheads with Niger’s new military rulers after it refused to recognise the July 26 coup that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum – a French ally. France’s President Emmanuel Macron has continued to back Bazoum, who remains in custody.

The coup leaders have called for the French ambassador and troops to leave Niger, with thousands of people rallying for days in the capital Niamey and backing the new regime’s tough stance against the former colonial ruler.

Some 1,500 French troops are based in Niger as part of France’s wider fight against armed rebels in the Sahel region. Niger became a crucial hub for France after coups forced the withdrawal of French troops from neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso.