EU nations to withdraw Honduras ambassadors

3rd July 2009, Comments 0 comments

Germany, Italy, France, Spain and the European Commission all withdrew their ambassadors to the country in response to last weekend’s coup.

Madrid -- All EU countries with embassies in Honduras have decided to withdraw their ambassadors following the coup last weekend that ousted President Manuel Zelaya, Spain's foreign minister said.

"I have just spoken to my European colleagues and I can tell you that at this moment, all the European embassies in Tegucigalpa have decided to withdraw their ambassadors," Miguel Angel Moratinos told Spanish National Radio late on Wednesday.

That means "Germany, Italy, France, Spain and the European Commission, so all the European representation in Tegucigalpa will be at a lower level, with charges d'affaires but not ambassadors.

"I think that it is a clear sign of the position of Europe, of the international community, and the provisional authorities (in Honduras) must reflect on it," he said.

However, a spokeswoman for the EU Commission in Brussels, Christiane Hohmann, denied that it had ever had an ambassador in Honduras.

But she confirmed that "the EU member state embassies have reduced to charge d'affaire level."

"We don't have a head of delegation there because we never had one. We have a regional delegation in Nicaragua and we have a charge d'affaires in Tegucigalpa," she said.

Spain has been pressing European Union states to recall their ambassadors from Honduras after Sunday's ousting of Zelaya, as a number of Latin American countries have already done.

Moratinos called for "the return of democratic order" with "as a pre-condition that the legitimate president, the constitutional president, Mr. Zelaya, cane return and continue to be president."

Spain and France on Wednesday announced they had recalled their ambassadors to Honduras for consultations on the coup.

EU nations had already agreed on Wednesday to have no contact with the post-coup leaders in Honduras.


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