Difference remains on Honduran political crisis at Ibero-American Summit

14:30, December 01, 2009      

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The difference of viewpoints on the Honduran political crisis remained as Ibero-American leaders met in Estorial, Portugal, on Monday.

Foreign ministers of these countries failed to reach an agreement at Monday's meeting, but the Honduran issue was still on the agenda of the 22 heads of state and government or their representatives, ensuring that a statement would be released during the Ibero-American summit.

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias addresses a press conference during the XIX Ibero-American summit in Estoril, Portugal, Nov. 30, 2009. Oscar Arias, the main mediator in the Honduran political crisis, said here on Monday that Costa Rica would acknowledge the result of the Nov. 29 general elections in Honduras. (Xinhua/Zeng Yi)

"It is logical that a statement would be announced in the Ibero-American framework, as there was a coup and there have been human rights violations," said Patricia Licona, Honduran vice foreign minister representing ousted President Manuel Zelaya, told the reporters.

On June 28, Zelaya was seized in the presidential palace by a group of soldiers and forced onto a plane bound for Costa Rica. And former legislature leader Roberto Micheletti became acting president.

Many countries have refused to recognize the de facto government after the coup and demanded the reinstatement of Zelaya.

On Nov. 29, opposition leader Porfilio Lobo won the general elections. But whether to recognize the legitimacy of the election has divided the Ibero-American Community, comprising Latin America and Spain, Portugal and Andorra.

Panama, Costa Rica and Peru announced, following the U.S. position, they recognized the outcome of Sunday's elections in Honduras, while others rejected the legitimacy of the elections organized by the de facto government.

Looking forward to reaching a consensus on Honduras among leaders participating in the summit, Salvadorian President Mauricio Funes said he was convinced elections were not the solution.

Funes said "the winner in this election should show during the months before he takes office (Jan. 27) that he is ready to convene a government of national unity and reconciliation, with the participation of deposed President Manuel Zelaya, who must be reconducted to constitutional powers."

Funes also proposed to reform the Democratic Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS) to "be explicit that de facto governments as a result of breaking the institution are not recognized, and economic and diplomatic sanctions should also be approved."

OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza, who was also attending the summit, said the OAS Permanent Council would on Dec.4 evaluate the situation after the election and the decision the Honduran Congress would make on Dec. 2 on the order of restitution of Zelaya.

For his part, Ibero American Secretary General Enrique Iglesias said in his inaugural speech that "we trust the Honduran family will soon be within the institutional order."

Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana said "elections cannot be valid if made without the restoration of the constitutional president, Manuel Zelaya."

This position is supported by Brazil, Spain, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Guatemala, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.

However, Vice President and Foreign Minister of Panama Juan Carlos Varela, reaffirmed in Estoril that his government recognized the legitimacy of the elections, considering "it is a very important step to overcome the crisis."

According to Brazilian Vice Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota, Portugal would be responsible for preparing a document for a resolution on the election.

Source: Xinhua
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