Clinton: U.S. and OAS working to restore order in Honduras

Other News Materials 30 June 2009 01:36 (UTC +04:00)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that the United States was working with allies to ensure deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya's safety and to get him restored as president, CNN reported.

Clinton told reporters the political conflict in Honduras "has evolved into a coup" and the U.S. was "considering the implications" of the move for U.S. aid.

"We think that the arrest and expulsion of a president is certainly cause for concern that has to be addressed and it's not just with respect to whether our aid continues, but whether democracy in Honduras continues," Clinton said. "It's important that we stand for the rule of law."

The military deposed Zelaya early Sunday and flew him to Costa Rica. Roberto Micheletti, president of the Congress, was named provisional president.

Clinton called Sunday's events "unfortunate" and "a test of the inter-American system's ability to support and defend democracy and constitutional order" in the Western Hemisphere.

She said a delegation from the Organization of American States will be heading to Honduras as early as Tuesday "to begin working with the parties" on the restoration of constitutional government there.

On Sunday the OAS issued a statement vehemently condemning the coup and calling for Zeyala's immediate return. But Clinton hinted the U.S. wasn't fully supportive of Zeyala's actions that led to the coup, referring to "political polarization in Honduras" and a lack of confidence in Honduran institutions.

Zelaya had been at odds with the other branches of government over a referendum he wanted to hold Sunday. The nation's Supreme Court had ruled the referendum was illegal and Congress had voted not to hold it. He disregarded those actions and vowed to hold the vote Sunday anyway.

Clinton said that the U.S. would work the OAS to "ensure that Honduras moves successfully towards its scheduled presidential elections in November."

"All parties have a responsibility to address the underlying problems that led to yesterday's events in a way that enhances democracy and the rule of law in Honduras," Clinton said.