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Remarks on Recent Developments in Honduras

Remarks on Recent Developments in Honduras

Arturo Valenzuela
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs

Via Teleconference

Washington, DC

December 3, 2009

OPERATOR: Good afternoon, and thank you all for holding. At this time, I’d like to inform all parties that your lines will be on a listen-only mode until the question-and-answer segment of today’s call. At that time, if you’d like to ask a question, please press *1 on your touchtone phone. You will be prompted to state your name, so please check your mute button. Again, during the Q&A session, press *1 to ask a question. Today’s call is being recorded. If you have any objections, please disconnect at this time.

I would now like to turn the call over to Ian Kelly. You may begin.

MR. KELLY: Yes. Welcome to our conference call on developments in Honduras. My name is Ian Kelly. So with that, I will turn it over to Mr. Valenzuela.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY VALENZUELA: Yes. Thanks very much. As you know, the Honduran congress voted yesterday not to reinstate President Manuel Zelaya to the Honduran presidency. We’re disappointed by this decision since the United States had hoped the Congress would have approved his return. And our policy since June 28 has been consistently principled, and we’ve condemned the coup d’état and have continued to accept President Zelaya as the democratically elected and legitimate leader of Honduras throughout this political crisis.

However, the decision taken by Congress, which it carried out in an open and transparent manner, was in accordance with its mandate in Article 5 of the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord. Both President Zelaya and Mr. Micheletti agreed to this accord on October 30th.

Important work remains to reestablish a democratic and constitutional order in Honduras and promote national reconciliation in the wake of the June 28 coup d’état, as the status quo remains unacceptable. Under the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord, the next steps in this process should be the expeditious formation of a national unity government and the establishment of a truth commission. It’s important that these steps be fulfilled to pave the way for Honduras’ return to the inter-American community of democracies. The Honduran people deserve no less and clearly signaled their desire to move forward with new leadership through their robust participation in Sunday’s elections.

The United States will continue to work with Honduran and international partners to help fulfill our overarching goal of supporting the restoration of democratic and constitutional order. We are encouraged by the strong call for national reconciliation made by President-elect Pepe Lobo, which also marks an important step in that direction.

ENDS

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