July 8, 2009 in Nation/World

Nobel winner Arias to mediate for Honduras

Matthew Lee Associated Press
 

Aid withheld

In Washington, the State Department said the U.S. has suspended military assistance programs estimated at $16.5 million and a few development assistance programs estimated at $1.9 million, but food aid, disease prevention, child survival aid, disaster assistance and elections assistance – is still being provided.

WASHINGTON – Both sides in Honduras’ leadership crisis on Tuesday signaled willingness to forge a diplomatic solution to the deadlock over the fate of President Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted last month in a coup.

Zelaya and interim Honduran leader Roberto Micheletti agreed to accept Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, a Nobel Peace laureate, as an international mediator. Arias’ appointment was backed by the United States and announced by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton after she met privately with Zelaya at the State Department.

Arias will conduct the mediation in Costa Rica, where Zelaya intends to travel from Washington. Clinton said she expected the process to begin soon.

“It is our hope that through this dialogue mechanism overseen by President Arias that there can be a restoration of democratic, constitutional order, a peaceful resolution of this matter that will enable the Honduran people to see the restoration of democracy and a more peaceful future going forward,” Clinton said.

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