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Honduran interim gov't announces to quit OAS
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16:30, July 04, 2009

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Honduras' interim government announced Friday that the country decided to quit from the Organization of American States (OAS).

In a letter to the OAS read by Honduras' Vice Minister of International Relations Martha Lorena de Casco, it said "This government believes that inside the organization (of the OAS), there is no room for Honduras, for the states that love its freedom and defend its sovereignty."

The reading of the letter was made in presence of Honduran Acting President Roberto Micheletti.

Honduras will face freezing of loans from Central American Bank of Economic Integration (CABEI), while other international help and donations can be suspended.

The interim government's announcement came after OAS chief Jose Miguel Insulza said in Tegucigalpa Friday that he would recommend the suspension of Honduras from the regional group due to its post-coup rulers' refusal to reinstate ousted President Manuel Zelaya.

The OAS has given the Honduran interim government until noon on Saturday to restore Zelaya to power, or face expulsion.

Insulza, who is on a fact-finding mission in Honduras, said Zelaya must be reinstalled to lead the country.

"Zelaya is the only one that we recognize as Honduran President, and he must be returned to his position as soon as possible," Insulza said at a press conference.

"Honduras is exposed to an international sanction, because the world unanimously has declared this action as a violation of democracy. I have spoken with several people, and apparently no one wants to accept responsibility for what happened last weekend."

"I'm going back to Washington and I will report what I found out here to the OAS Assembly. We will discuss it and then we're going to make a decision," Insulza said.

Enrique Ortez Colindres, foreign minister of Honduras' post-coup government, told media that the government would not negotiate with the OAS.

"We have a very firm position that we do not negotiate Honduras' sovereignty," Ortez said.

Honduran soldiers stormed the presidential palace and flew Zelaya into exile in Costa Rica early Sunday.

Later, the country's legislature voted to appoint Roberto Micheletti, head of the legislature, as acting president to serve out Zelaya's term, which ends in January.

Source: Xinhua

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