Rome, January 3 - Niger is a "strategic ally" of Italy's in Africa, Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said after meeting his counterpart Ibrahim Yacoubou in Niamey Wednesday, the Italian foreign ministry said. "The friendship between our countries is becoming closer," Alfano said. Niger is the first stage of a three-country trip that will also take in Senegal and Guinea. Earlier Alfano tweeted: "just landed in #Niger for African mission, which will also take me to #Senegal and #Guinea. Focus on Italian priorities: security, migrant flows and partnership for development".