Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs:
“I’m delighted to be talking to you all from Tegucigalpa. As I stated previously, our delegation here – Ambassador Craig Kelly, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and Dan Restrepo, the Special Assistant to the President for Western Hemisphere Affairs – were sent – we were sent to Tegucigalpa by Secretary Clinton and President Obama to underscore U.S. interest and support for the national dialogue which is underway now and to underscore the necessity of an agreement within that national dialogue in order to win broad support in the international community for the elections that Honduras will face on November 29th.
From our point of view, an agreement within the national dialogue opens a large space for members of the international community to assist Honduras in this election process, to observe the elections, and to have a process that is peaceful and which produces leadership that is widely recognized throughout the hemisphere as legitimate. This will be important as a way of creating a pathway for Honduras to reintegrate itself into the inter-American community, to not – and not just the OAS, but also the Inter-American Development Bank and its other institutions, and to access development funding through the international financial institutions.
At the end of the day, we respect Honduras’s sovereignty, we respect its democracy and its constitutional institutions. And at the end of the day, a solution to this crisis, which is Honduran in origin, will be Honduran also. But we believe the solution will be more enduring and more peaceful if it is accompanied by the larger inter-American community and other members of the international community that are interested. Secretary Clinton and President Obama instructed us to come down and try to ensure that this national dialogue continues, that it continues on a sound basis, and to reassure the Honduran people and Honduras’s political leaders that the United States is prepared to work with members of the international community to provide the guarantees and incentives necessary to ensure that any agreement reached in the national dialogue is implemented in a transparent and effective fashion.
The negotiators are meeting now. They’ve done a lot of work, a lot of important work, and I think the Honduran people can be very proud of what these negotiators have accomplished. But they’re dealing with a tough issue, and that’s the larger issue of what the San Jose Accords called restitution. And this is an issue that both sides feel deeply about, but both sides have been working to structure or fashion a solution that meets their different needs and interests. From our point of view, the deal’s on the table. This is not really a question of drafting or of shaping a paragraph. It’s really a question of political will. And that’s why it was so important, I think, for us to come to Honduras at this moment to make clear to all Hondurans that we believe the political will that is displayed and expressed by Honduras’s leaders should respect the democratic vocation of the Honduran people and the democratic aspirations of the Honduran people, and the desire of Honduras to return to a larger democratic community in the Americas.”
Excerpt — Please see the entire dialogue at the US Government Website