EU pulls ambassadors from Honduras in wake of presidential ousting | World| Breakings news and perspectives from around the globe | DW | 02.07.2009
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EU pulls ambassadors from Honduras in wake of presidential ousting

Following a military coup in Honduras, all EU countries with embassies in the Central American state have recalled their ambassadors, according to the Swedish government.

Supporters of the ousted president gather near the presidential residence in Tegucigalpa

Protests have flared in the capital Tegucigalpa

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, whose country now holds the rotating EU presidency, wrote on his blog that events in Honduras were still uncertain, but that all EU ambassadors have now left the country.

Bildt said the EU was now debating how best to encourage "a quick return to full constitutional rule" in Honduras.

Spain, France and Italy were the first European countries to recall their ambassadors from Tegucigalpa, following a decision by a number of Latin American countries to also pull their top diplomats from the country.

EU countries that had an ambassadorial presence in Honduras are now represented at the charges d’affaires level, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos told Spanish National Radio on Wednesday.

Spain had been pushing for other European Union member states to downgrade diplomatic relations with Honduras following the ousting of President Manuel Zelaya on June 28.

Second presidential term

Honduras' ousted President Manuel Zelaya

Zelaya wanted to rewrite the constitution to allow a second term

In a resolution approved Wednesday, members of the Organization of American States set a deadline for Honduras' interim government to reinstate democracy within 72 hours, or face possible suspension from the group.

Meanwhile, Honduras is bracing for more protests three days after the coup, with the military threatening to immediately arrest Zelaya if he attempts to return.

Honduran troops removed the wealthy 57-year-old rancher in his pajamas on Sunday and bundled him onto a plane to Costa Rica. The military carried out the coup to thwart Zelaya's bid to rewrite the constitution so he could run for a second term.

As both pro and anti-Zelaya protesters took to the streets of Honduras, unidentified attackers threw a grenade at the Supreme Court late on Tuesday. The device failed to explode.

After the United Nations General Assembly backed his bid to return to power, Zelaya headed for Washington on Wednesday to meet with US officials before heading back to Honduras.

dfm/ch/reuters/dpa/AP/afp

Editor: Michael Lawton