Abdalli was reported to have turned down an invitation to attend talks organised by the junta next week, saying it would legitimise the coup, according to France's Le Monde newspaper yesterday.

However, observers say he may be released to encourage his attendance in the dialogue.

Sanctions threat

Amid mounting international pressure, the junta recently announced the former president would be freed unconditionally before the end of December.

Abdallahi said her father had never been informed directly about the junta's plan.

Abdalli was elected for five years in 2007, becoming the country's first democratically elected leader.

He served only 15 months before the coup by a group of generals led by Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.

Abdalli had previously attempted to removed Aziz, a presidential guard chief, after becoming president.

The US and France suspended aid to the west African nation after the coup and the EU has threatened sanctions against it.

Mauritania has had numerous coups since independence from France in 1960.