The United States is deploring the violence
associated with ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya's aborted effort to
return to his country on Sunday, and has again appealed for dialogue among
parties to that country's political conflict. Secretary of State Clinton is
expected to meet Mr. Zelaya Tuesday.
The State Department is reiterating
its call for the return to office of the elected president of Honduras, and
officials say Secretary of State Clinton will likely meet Mr. Zelaya in
Washington Tuesday in a high-level show of support for the ousted
The United States joined in a unanimous vote Saturday by the
Organization of American States to suspend Honduras because of the refusal of
authorities there to reverse the June 28 coup, in which the elected president
was detained by the military and put on a plane to Costa Rica.
Prior to his
ouster, U.S. diplomats had been trying to mediate a dispute triggered by Mr.
Zelaya's effort to stage a referendum that would have allowed him to seek
another term as president.
Despite complaints of his critics that he was
acting illegally, the United States has strongly opposed his unceremonious
ouster. In a statement Monday, State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly said the
U.S. goal remains "the restoration of the democratic order in Honduras" - while
urging all the country's political actors to find a peaceful solution to the
Kelly expressed regret that the situation required the suspension
of Honduras from the OAS, and said the United States looks forward to the day
when circumstances will allow its return to the region body.
lamented the violence surrounding Mr. Zelayas attempted return home Sunday, in
which troops barred his aircraft from landing, and a pro-Zelaya airport
protester was killed.
"We deplore the use of force against demonstrators
in Tegucigalpa in recent days," said Ian Kelly. "We once again call on the
defacto regime, and all actors in Honduras, to refrain from all acts of
violence, and seek a peaceful constitutional and lasting solution to the serious
divisions in that country through dialogue."
Kelly also called on OAS
member countries to reject incitement and the use of violence to effect
political change, an apparent reference to threats by left-leaning OAS states
supportive of Mr. Zelaya to return him to power through military
Though more than a week has passed without the restoration
of the ousted president, a senior State Department official reiterated support
for negotiations through the regional grouping, saying he does not think "the
moment for the OAS has passed."
To back up OAS diplomacy, the United
States is withholding disbursement of most U.S. aid money for Honduras pending a
formal determination by State Department lawyers that the events of June 28
constitute a military coup and require an aid cut-off under U.S.
Kelly said under questioning the Obama administration is disinclined
to make such a determination while OAS diplomacy is ongoing, but in the meantime
has frozen aid categories that would be covered by an aid ban.
U.S. aid to Honduras has recently averaged more than $50 million a year.