Skip to comments.State Department Daily Press Briefing - Sept 23, 2009
Posted on 09/23/2009 3:00:04 PM PDT by don-o
QUESTION: Thanks, Ian. A quick question about the secret return of President Zelaya to Honduras. I mean, it was described by Hugo Chavez as courageous. Do you feel that it is helpful, its a good thing to have him come back in that way?
MR. KELLY: Well, in foreign policy, we deal with the facts that we have, and the fact that we have is that hes in Honduras. We do have our concerns about the possible impact it may have on the situation on the ground, especially with the possibilities for clashes. And for this reason, weve called on both sides to exercise restraint with this new situation.
But also, since we are dealing with this fact, youve heard Secretary Clinton a couple of days ago say, lets take this opportunity to open up channels of communication. So, thats basically I mean, our efforts are in those two tracks: take advantage of this opportunity for dialogue, but at the same time, urge restraint on both sides.
QUESTION: Is there any talk of maybe helping him leave if things get really violent, or --
MR. KELLY: No, were not at that point. President Zelaya is still in the Embassy, in the Brazilian Embassy. It looks like things have calmed down there. Water and power have been restored. Food and water are being delivered to the Embassy. And also, the staff has been allowed to depart under police with police coordination. And were happy that we were able to play a helpful, facilitative role in helping restore these services and lower the tension around the compound.
QUESTION: What exactly was the U.S. role?
MR. KELLY: Well, I think that we helped as to reinforce the message that the not Geneva Vienna Convention had to be respected, the inviolability of the Brazilian Embassy had to be respected. We helped get some of the personnel out. We provided some vehicles. But mostly, it was a liaison role to help restore the power and water, and also get personnel out and back to their homes.
QUESTION: And were they diplomatic vehicles? How many people were traveling in them?
MR. KELLY: Im not sure of the exact details of what kind of vehicles they were, but I know that we played a role in helping get people to safety.
QUESTION: You have no idea of the numbers of people who were --
MR. KELLY: No, Im afraid I dont.
QUESTION: A follow-up on Honduras. Do you are you aware of any multilateral initiatives which involve the OAS or the United Nations, or the bilateral level, which has to do with --
MR. KELLY: Yes.
QUESTION: -- the President of Costa Rica?
MR. KELLY: Yes. Let me give you an update on where we are on some of these initiatives. We understand the de facto regimes foreign minister, Carlos Lopez Contreras, publicly invited a representative group of foreign ministers from the OAS from OAS countries to come to Tegucigalpa and help promote a dialogue. We welcome that announcement, and we look forward to supporting that initiative.
In addition, the Brazilian Government has formally requested that the UN Security Council convene to discuss the safety and security of President Zelaya and Brazilian facilities and personnel in Honduras. And as we are the we have the presidency of the Security Council this month, and in our capacity as the president of the Security Council, were working on this request.
In general, we continue to work with our partners in the UN and the OAS to come up with means to promote a dialogue and defuse the tensions, of course with the ultimate goal of resolving the crisis. And were continuing our consultations with our partners in the region, and enlisting wherever we can their assistance in this process. I want to say that President Arias has done an outstanding job as a mediator, and we hope that his services can continue to facilitate the crisis.
And finally, on the 22nd, the OAS met yesterday. The OAS Permanent Council met and issued a statement calling for the immediate signing of the San Jose Accord and the restoration of President Zelaya to office.
QUESTION: Do you know when is this team of the OAS going to Honduras?
MR. KELLY: Its like I say, we welcome the openness of the de facto regime to receive this team, and even as we speak, this is all being worked out: who exactly will go and what the context will be for dialogue.
Yes, in the back.
QUESTION: Yes, on Korea North Korea?
Maybe subtitle could be "Daily Disgrace"
Freepmail me to be added to / removed from Honduras ping list. Please ping me to threads of interest.
Totally disingenuous. I think the Clinton State Department got Brazil and Lula to do this for them. Way before Zelaya was removed, our State Department took Zelaya’s side. At the time, Thomas Shannon was still heading up State’s Bureau of Western Hemispheric Affairs. It looks to me very much like he took umbrage because the Honduran Congress refused to obey US orders to disregard their own Constitution. Shannon has moved on to be ... Ambassador to Brazil. I have more proof of this if anyone is interested.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.