June 30, 2009 / 5:19 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 2-Zelaya expected to attend OAS meeting in Washington

(Adds White House comment)

WASHINGTON, June 30 (Reuters) - Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya is expected to come to Washington to attend a special meeting of the Organization of American States on Tuesday and will likely meet with U.S. State Department officials, a department spokesman said.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said after Zelaya speaks at the United Nations, he is expected to come to Washington for the OAS meeting, which will take place in the late afternoon.

“He wants to come down to Washington and participate in the special general assembly of the Organization of American States,” Kelly said. “If he does come down to Washington, and we expect he will, State Department officials plan to meet with him.”

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, asked whether Zelaya might also see President Barack Obama when he travels to the U.S. capital for the OAS meeting, stopped short of saying such a meeting might be arranged.

Zelaya was forced out of office and into exile in Costa Rica in a military coup on Sunday, sparking a wave of international condemnation of the military who ousted him.

On Monday, Obama called the coup illegal and said it would set a “terrible precedent” of transition by military force unless it was reversed.

Obama said the United States would work with the OAS and other international institutions to restore Zelaya to power and “see if we can resolve this in a peaceful way.”

Despite Obama’s comments, his administration has not formally designated the ouster as a military coup, a step that would force a cut-off of most U.S. aid to Honduras.

Under U.S. law, no aid — other than for the promotion of democracy — may be provided to a country whose elected head of government has been toppled in a military coup.

Kelly said legal advisers were in the process of determining whether to classify Zelaya’s ouster as a coup. He said the process was not expected to take long.

Reporting by Deborah Charles, Editing by Sandra Maler

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below