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US working to resolve crisis in Honduras: Clinton

world Updated: Oct 06, 2009 10:39 IST

AFP
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The United States wants to see the political crisis in Honduras resolved and the country returned to the path of democracy, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday.

"We're working very hard to reach a conclusion in Honduras that will permit the elections to go forward, " Clinton said in an interview with CNN.

She reiterated that Washington backed a Costa Rican-brokered plan that called for reinstating ousted President Manuel Zelaya followed by elections.

Such an approach would hopefully "get Honduras back on the path to a more sustainable democracy," Clinton said.

"The people in Honduras deserve that. They really have struggled hard to get to where they were before there was the disruption and the exiling of President Zelaya," she said.

Clinton was speaking in a joint interview with another cabinet member, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, that was taped on Monday evening and was due to be aired Tuesday on CNN.

The top US diplomat said the administration was seeking to engage with governments in Latin America as the region had seen a worrying drift away from human rights and a rising hostility to the United States.

"There has been a pulling away from democracy, from human rights, from the kind of partnership that we would want with our neighbors," she said.

The US stance on the coup in Honduras had surprised some Latin American states skeptical of Washington, she said.

"So in Honduras, we're standing for the principle of democratic and constitutional order.

"And we have done that, I think, much to the amazement of many of the very leaders you're talking about who have become increasingly anti-American in their actions and their messages," she said.

Soldiers ousted Zelaya amid a dispute with the country's elite over his plans to change the constitution, which many saw as a bid to seek a second term.

Zelaya's return to Honduras September 21 has set off a tense confrontation in Tegucigalpa between his supporters and the de facto regime that threw him out of the country three months ago.

The country's de facto leader, Roberto Micheletti, insists he heads a transitional administration, which seeks to hold presidential elections on November 29 as, scheduled to determine Zelaya's successor.