Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine served as Niger’s finance minister in the early 2000s. / Photo: Reuters

Niger's military-appointed prime minister made a visit on Tuesday to neighbouring Chad, holding talks with his counterpart and President Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, the Chadian government and Deby's office said.

Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, a civilian appointed following the coup in Niger on July 26, arrived for a "working visit," the government said on Facebook, while the presidency's press office said he handed Deby a "message" from the head of the regime.

Zeine, an economist by training who served as finance minister in the early 2000s, was appointed last week by coup leaders who toppled Niger's elected president, Mohamed Bazoum.

His visit had not been announced in advance.

It comes as military chiefs from the West African bloc ECOWAS prepare to meet in Ghana on Thursday and Friday to discuss possible armed intervention aimed at restoring Bazoum to office.

History of turbulence

Chad and Niger are poor countries with a long history of turbulence, sharing a long border some 1,200 kilometres long.

Deby, a key figure in the dynamics of the unstable Sahel, visited Niamey on July 30, four days after the coup.

He was pictured in one photo next to the detained Bazoum and in another seated next to General Salifou Mody, one of the central figures of the Niger regime.