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Interim gov't: Honduras to quit OAS
Updated: 2009-07-04 18:48

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

In a letter to the OAS, 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."

Interim gov't: Honduras to quit OAS

Organization of American States (OAS) chief Jose Miguel Insulza (L) addresses a news conference at a hotel in downtown Tegucigalpa July 3, 2009. [Agencies] Interim gov't: Honduras to quit OAS

Honduras will face the prospect of loans frozen by the Central American Bank of Economic Integration (CABEI), while other international help and donations may also be suspended.

The announcement came after OAS chief Jose Miguel Insulza said in Tegucigalpa the same day that he would recommend suspending Honduras' membership from the regional group becasue of the interim government's refusal to reinstate ousted President Manuel Zelaya.

The OAS has given the Honduran interim government until Saturday noon 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.

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"Honduras will face international sanctions, because the world has unanimously 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' interim government, told the 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.