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Mercosur summit denounces Honduras regime

world Updated: Jul 25, 2009 14:31 IST

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A summit of South American leaders on Friday issued a statement refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the interim Honduran regime that came to power in a June 28 coup.

Members of the Mercosur trade bloc meeting in Asuncion, Paraguay also said in a joint statement that they would not recognize any election organized by the interim government.

Mercosur members "reiterate their energetic condemnation of the coup d'etat against the constitutional government of Honduras" and the arrest and expulsion of President Manuel Zelaya, they said in a joint statement.

The group, it added, "would not recognize any government that resulted from a rupture in constitutional order" in Honduras, and "would not accept as valid unilateral acts coming from the illegitimate Honduran authorities, including the call for elections."

The coup that ousted Zelaya underlines the fragility of democracies in Latin America, Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo told summit participants.

"The coup d'etat that overthrew the constitutional president of Honduras on June 28 shows us the degree to which Latin American democracies remain fragile," Lugo said at the 37th Mercosur summit.

Lugo also expressed hope that the American continent would no longer be afflicted by "dictatorship."

Representatives of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador participated in the summit.