Special Briefing
Via Teleconference
September 3, 2009


OPERATOR: Good afternoon, and thank you for standing by. All lines will be in a listen-only mode until the question-and-answer session. To ask your question, please press *1. Today’s conference is being recorded. If anyone has any objections, you may disconnect at this time. Now, I will turn the meeting over to Ian Kelly. You may begin.

MR. KELLY: Welcome to our teleconference call on the visit of President Zelaya of Honduras. We will start with the first of our senior Administration officials, Senior Administration Official Number One, and I hand it over to you to make some brief remarks.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Thank you, Ian. I know you’ve already – most of you have had quite a bit of time with P.J. today, so I’ll be very brief.

The Secretary today underscored her very strong support for the San Jose Accord, and she noted that we’ve been devoting a great deal of diplomacy to the Arias process, urging both sides to reach an agreement in that framework. But she noted that because of continued resistance to the San Jose Accords by the de facto regime, that she had decided to announce three majors, which you know of, which were in our statement: the termination of a broad range of our assistance; the revocation of visas of members and supporters of the de facto regime; and a statement that, at this moment, we would not be able to support the outcome of scheduled elections and that we view the conclusion of the Arias process as providing a sound basis for elections to proceed.

I just want to add that this comes on top of earlier measures that we’ve taken: the earlier suspension of our assistance right after the coup; the pulling of a group of diplomatic visas; and also the closing of our nonimmigrant visa section to all but emergency cases.

And you know, having taken these steps previously and then the ones today, we will continue our efforts to press both sides to reach an agreement within the Arias framework. And it’s our very strong view that this framework offers the people of Honduras the best way forward as they try to restore democratic and constitutional governance, and also restore healthy relations with the rest of the region, including the United States.

So, again, very strong support for the Arias process. We believe the measures we announced today advance toward that goal, and we’ll be continuing the diplomacy to try and reach that end.

So with that, I’m happy to take questions.

OPERATOR: Thank you. At this time, we’ll begin the question-and-answer session. If you would like to ask a question, please press *1. To withdraw your question, press *2. Once again, if you have a question, please press *1. Our first question comes from Arshad Mohammed with Reuters.

QUESTION: Hi, thanks for doing the call.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Sure.

QUESTION: Three quick things. Can you give us a precise rundown of the funding that has been terminated today? And to the extent that that funding includes Millennium Challenge Corporation funding, can you explain why that – the MCC funding doesn't require an act by the MCC board to be terminated?

Second, can you tell us why you did not – the Secretary did not deem that a – that the Zelaya government was – that Zelaya was removed as a result of a military coup or decree?

Thank you.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Okay. The aid that was – as you know, that was suspended right after the coup and that was formally terminated today includes – if you’re writing, I’ll run down a couple numbers for you – 9.4 million from USAID. [Senior Administration Official Three], chime in here if I get any of this wrong. And within that category, 8.7 million in development assistance and ESF, Economic Support Funds. Those go mainly toward trade capacity building and support for Honduran ministries of labor and education.

Still under the 9.4 category, there’s 2.7 million in child survival and health. Now, there’s other child survival and health money that will continue under our – you know, our effort to carry on with some humanitarian funding for the country.

Second category is from State money at 8.96 million, and broken into three parts: 6.5 million in FMF, Foreign Military Financing, of course for the military; 361,000 in IMET, International Military Education and Training; and then 1.72 million in global peacekeeping operations. And there’s some other funding that’s frozen as well, some so-called 1206 security assistance, which amounts to about 1.7 million.

The MCC is another 11 million which had already been suspended, and we are working very closely with MCC looking in terms of formalizing that.

QUESTION: Okay. But they haven’t actually voted to – the board hasn’t actually voted to terminate that yet?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Well, we’re in the process of consulting with them about nailing that down. This, as you know, the Secretary, of course, being on the board, and we’re looking for ways to carry out her view on this as quickly as possible.

QUESTION: And then why wasn’t this a military coup?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: As the President made clear very early on, and the Secretary as well, this was a coup d’état. And the – and we took measures right away that we – suspended aid that would have been required under our legislation, the so-called 7008. We did it as a matter of principle and policy at that time.

The Secretary is not required by our law to come to a conclusion regarding what type of coup it is in order to cut off assistance. She cut off assistance because it was a coup d’état. And the important thing is that we’ve cut off the assistance in an effort to try to encourage the parties to reach an agreement under the Arias proposal.

QUESTION: The reason that I ask the question, and I’ll stop here, is that, in a certain sense, you could argue that this sets a precedent potentially for other militaries in other countries to take part in a coup d’état, to arrest an elected leader, put him on a plane and fly him out of the country, and the fact that you – I mean, I understand that she didn’t have to make the determination. But for the lay person, it’s very hard to understand, I think, why you wouldn't view it as a military coup when the military was clearly so intimately involved in his removal from office and exile.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL TWO: If I might, I think the – it’s very important to note the practical message and precedent that is being set for anyone who participates in a coup – that is, a termination of assistance, the revocation of visas, a confronting an attempt to run out a clock, expanding the time horizon the de facto authorities clearly are trying through their continued obstinance, to run out what they perceive to be the clock that they are operating on – a think the very clear message that was sent today by the United States Government and by these measures taken by the Secretary of State is that the time horizon here is not the one that the de facto authorities are looking at, but rather that this has very important long-term consequences for Honduras and its role in the international community. That’s a very strong message and precedent sent to anyone, be they civilian or military, who are thinking of deposing or removing from – illegally removing from office a duly elected president in any country.

So yes, there’s a precedent being set here, and that is that these actions have serious consequences for a country’s relationship with the entire international community, as we’ve seen from the very beginning in the unanimous pushback to these actions from the United Nations, from the Organization of American States, and from the United States Government. So there are serious consequences to these actions, and those are playing out and they continue to play out today.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Just to add to that, I think in terms of the signal, Arshad, there are many types of coups that have taken place in our region and around the world, and by declaring this a coup d’état despite the complexity of it – there were executive branch elements, there were judicial branch elements, there were military elements – it was a coup. It was a coup d’état. And our message is that there are consequences for that kind of illegal, unconstitutional interruption of power. And that’s, I think, the important – that there are consequences, as [Senior Administration Official Two] said. And also that in trying to encourage all countries in the region to live up to their commitments under the Inter-American Democratic Charter, I think we’re sending a very strong signal that any illegal, unconstitutional interruption of power will have consequences.

OPERATOR: Our next question comes from Sergio Davile from Folha.

QUESTION: Hi, it’s a question for either [Senior Administration Official Two] or [Three]. The return of President Zelaya to power is one of the main items of the San Jose Accord. Is it still something that the U.S. Government will pursue, or is there room for negotiation on this specific item? Thank you.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Sure. No, the San Jose Accord, as you correctly cite, calls for his – for President Zelaya’s return to his function as president, and that is the process that we’re supporting.

QUESTION: There is no room for maneuver here? Either Zelaya go back to power, or you won’t play? Is that the message?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Well, if you read the Arias proposal, which, as I said before, is, we believe very strongly, the best path to get Honduras back to a legal, constitutional, democratic path, it does call for President Arias to return to office.

QUESTION: President Zelaya.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: I mean president – I’m sorry – President Zelaya to return to office. And then that is the process that we are supporting. Now, within that process, the parties are talking to each other. They will try to reach some kind of an agreement within this framework, and they will continue to do that. And to the extent that they do, they have the support of President Arias, of the countries in the region, including the United States.

QUESTION: Okay, thank you.

OPERATOR: Mary Beth Sheridan, Washington Post.

QUESTION: Hi, thank you very much. If I could go back to the aid for a second just to kind of wrap up some loose ends, so if I’ve got this straight, there’s 9.4 million from USAID that has already been suspended and now will be terminated, right?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Correct.

QUESTION: Then 8.96 million from State various funds, right?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Right.

QUESTION: And then another 11 million from the MCC? So altogether, if my math is right, that’s roughly 30 million, correct?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Yeah. There’s another 1.7 million that I cited that is what we call Section 1206, which is security-related funding.

QUESTION: Oh. That’s in addition to the State money, correct?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Correct.

QUESTION: Okay. So the step today affected aid that had already been sort of put on hold; it didn’t cut off any additional aid. Is that right?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Yes, we had already suspended it right after the coup.

QUESTION: Okay. And the last question is: Is more MCC money in play? In other words, next week or whenever it is they meet, could they choose to cancel or terminate additional aid, or is this 11 million all the money that is eligible to be suspended?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: That’s it. That’s all that’s left --

QUESTION: That’s it?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Right.

QUESTION: Okay. So, basically – and I’m sorry, one more. Is this – does this 30 – roughly 30 million, does that constitute all the non-humanitarian aid to Honduras? Like, would it be correct saying the U.S. has now terminated all non-humanitarian aid?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Would it be correct to say is it is has terminated all non-humanitarian aid? I mean, what we’ve terminated is aid primarily that goes – that, yes, that is non-humanitarian that goes to the government. There is some – we call it humanitarian assistance – that did go through the government that we have also frozen. The point here is aid that goes right to the government.

QUESTION: Okay.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: We have other programs. And again, [Senior Administration Official Three], chime in to provide more detail, if necessary. But we do have humanitarian assistance that does go not through the government that is being continued.

I might add that we’re looking through – we’re sort of combing through these accounts now. And the question came up: Is this simply formalizing what was done earlier? Well, it is doing that, and we think that sends an important signal and that’s an important political signal to send. There is a certain portion of this money that we’re still combing through that could be lost at the end of the fiscal year if it’s not used up, so that is one component of this that does have a sort of numbers effect. But we’re still going through all that now.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL TWO: And, Mary Beth, I know you were zeroing in on the aid question. I think it’s important not to lose sight that three things were done today and that together they send a very important message. Obviously, knowing the details on that first piece is an important piece, but not losing sight of the fact that these are three things that hit different pieces of the calculus by the de facto authorities to underscore the long-term consequences that their actions have had and continue to have for Honduras’ standing in the bilateral relationship and in the international community.

QUESTION: Okay, thanks.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: And then one other thing to add to that. As the Secretary made clear today as well, I mean, these are some of the steps that we’ve taken in reaction to resistance of the de factos to the San Jose Accords. Throughout all this, we have been continuing in a very, very active diplomacy throughout the region to encourage both sides to reach an agreement as well, and contact with both sides.

OPERATOR: Our next question comes from Patricia Mello, Estado.

QUESTION: Hi, I would like to understand – you say that at this moment you would not be able to support the outcome of the elections. Does that mean that you would require the return of President Zelaya to Honduras in order to consider the elections in November legitimate? In other words, what happens if the November election takes place and he’s not there?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: I’m going to – since the Secretary herself has today put out this statement, I’m not going to try to parse her words further than she already has. I mean, these are well considered words that we put out today, which say that, at this moment, we would not be able to support the outcome of the scheduled elections. A positive conclusion of the Arias process would provide a sound basis for legitimate elections to proceed. And then, of course, we strongly urge all parties to the San Jose talks to move expeditiously to agreement.

We don’t want to get into theoretical about what if and so on. I think the statement stands on its own. And we’re going to keep working very hard right now with today’s measures at our backs to try and get all parties to move to agreement.

QUESTION: Right. I just wanted to understand if the expression “at this moment” means that, at this moment, since President Zelaya is not there, is that something that has to change? That’s – I didn’t really –

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Yeah. Again, I’m not going to – that statement stands by itself. I can go back to what I said earlier. But if you look at the San Jose Accords, they, of course, call for President Zelaya’s return to office.

QUESTION: Okay.

OPERATOR: Our next question comes from Elise Labott, CNN.

QUESTION: Thank you. First for a housekeeping note, I’m wondering if you can reconsider putting this on the record, because it seems to be that you’re kind of saying that what your positions of the Administration are. And I don’t know if there’s anything that controversial on there that really bears going on background, but maybe we can talk about that offline.

I’m not sure what the new practical effects of the suspension of aid are, considering that the aid was suspended anyway. So how does this further encourage the government? I understand what you say about the visas, [Senior Administration Official Two], but just in terms of what the practical effects of the aid that was already suspended.

And I’m wondering if you – if Secretary Clinton talked about steps that President Zelaya should be taking. I mean, P.J. kind of mentioned them in the briefing, but if you could expand on that.

And also, whether you’re not taking this move to kind of declare it as a military coup because you’re trying to preserve some kind of diplomatic flexibility for a diplomatic solution.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Okay, I think there were three questions there. Let me – first of all, again, on the aid, we think this is a strong signal today that what was earlier suspended, which I think was the right call right after the coup, we have now formalized that to make clear that – our concern about continued resistance by the regime.

All of this is done to try to promote an agreement. I mean, this is why we’re doing this. We want to get the parties to agree quickly under the Arias proposal. As [Senior Administration Official Two] indicated earlier, we are not – the notion of people sort of trying to run out the clock is not something that is consistent with the San Jose Accords, which is why we’re increasing this pressure.

And then I think you had one other point, Elise. Sorry, I --

QUESTION: I’m wondering what kind of steps you’re looking for President Zelaya to take –

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Oh, for President Zelaya. Yes. The Secretary made very clear, and we have repeatedly, that this is a – the San Jose Accord involves contact among the two parties in Honduras and parties in the region. And yes, we have always urged both sides to refrain from any actions that would made concluding this agreement harder, any provocation actions that make the San Jose Accords more difficult to obtain. And yes, she reiterated that message.

QUESTION: What does that mean in terms of President Zelaya? I mean, I haven’t – in all this, kind of we’ve heard a lot of support for the Arias plan and the San Jose Accords and democratic constitution, but we haven’t heard a lot of support for President Zelaya himself. And so what are the problems with his kind of – I mean, you recognized that there were some problems in previous conference calls about problems with his rule that kind of led to this situation in the first place. So if you are able to get him back, I mean, are you looking for him to take certain steps to reassure the Honduran people that he can rule?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Yeah. And that’s addressed under the Arias plan, the so-called verification commission. There are a couple of – the truth commission, the verification commission. Those are both designed to help Honduras get through that period of transition that – as elections occur and a new government takes office. So those concerns that have been expressed by people within the de facto regime, those are addressed under the proposal, which is, again, why we think the de facto regime should sign up to the proposal, because their concerns are best addressed under the proposal.

Let me be very clear about that. We have listened very carefully to the concerns of both sides throughout this process over the last several weeks, and we have come away from that process even more convinced that the best way to address this process is through San Jose. Because if either side tries to go it alone, this is not going to work. This is a process that needs the support of the region, including the United States, the OAS, President Arias, and the countries of the region.

So, again, the concerns of both sides are best addressed with the support of all those actors. And that’s what we’re trying to achieve.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL TWO: And I would just add I think there’s two important points to note here. One is this has never been about the person of President Zelaya. President Obama has made very clear, the Secretary has made very clear, the international community has been very clear this is about the restoration and the defense of – the collective defense of democracy in the Western Hemisphere. And the San Jose Accord – the second point here is the San Jose Accord, one of the key attributes of that – of the process that President Arias laid out is that it addresses not only the events of June 28th, but also those conditions that contributed to the events of June 28th, and allows a restoration of democratic and constitutional order in a way that addresses the concerns of all involved.

So this really is about our efforts to join with the other countries in the Western Hemisphere in defense of the principles laid out in the Inter-American Democratic Charter. And it has never been about any particular individual, but rather, the duly elected president of a country, and the restoration of democratic order, part of which is his return for the balance of his constitutional term, which ends on January 27, 2010.

QUESTION: Thanks.

OPERATOR: Nitza Perez, Telesur.

QUESTION: Hi, good afternoon. When you talk about the revocation of visas for supporters, how do you identify them? Who are they? And my other question: Is the U.S. Government still considering freezing bank accounts belonging to de facto government officials and supporters as well?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Two quick answers: First, we never identify, because of our own law, individual visa cases. And the second one is we’re not going to get into measures that we might take in the future. We’re going to be implementing the steps that were announced today and we’ll take it from there.

QUESTION: And how are you identifying the supporters?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Well, as I said, we just don’t – we’re talking about – as the statement said, we’re talking about people who are either in the regime or are supporters of the regime, but I can’t get into details about who they are or sectors or things like that.

QUESTION: Okay.

OPERATOR: Tim Padgett, Time Magazine.

QUESTION: Hi. Can you give us a little bit of idea of what further assistance would have been cut off or terminated by law had the State Department determined that this was a military coup? And was there some consideration taken for the – you know, the high level of poverty in Honduras when the decision was made not to designate this as a military coup? Because that would have meant a much – you know, perhaps, you know, more hurt for the large swath of the population there that is impoverished.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: The short answer is no to both, that no, there is no difference, which is why we’ve tried to focus – [Senior Administration Official Two] and I have tried to focus in this call on the real world effect of what’s being done here, and the real world effect is about assistance. And the – in terms of concern for the poor, yes, this is one of the poorest countries in the hemisphere, which is why we’re allowing a good chunk of humanitarian aid to continue into the country.

QUESTION: So there wouldn’t have been any more hurt for Honduras if you had designated this as a military coup?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Correct. That’s correct.

QUESTION: Okay. And the reason, then, in the end why it wasn’t designated a military coup is because in the end, a civilian was installed in power?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: I don’t want to get into the particulars of why – what – the factors in all of this decision. It’s clear that it was a very mixed event, and – but many coups are mixed events. And we believe we’re sending a stronger signal by saying that a coup d’état, regardless of its complex nature and the components of it, will have consequences. We think that’s the most important thing, because most recent coups, not only in our region and – or around the world, have been mixed.

QUESTION: So 30 million, then, was the ceiling all along, or 31.7 or whatever – you know, more – a little more than 30 million was the extent of the punishment, then, that Honduras was facing?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: That’s correct. The formalization today – we formalized the suspension that we had already made and it made no difference in that number how we defined a coup.

QUESTION: Okay.

OPERATOR: Juberto Scofield, Brazil Global.

QUESTION: Hi. I know that you cannot say names, but can you say at least how many people involved in the coup had their visa cancelled or suspended, I don’t know how you call it? And are you still issuing business visas for Honduras executives?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Again, no, we won’t get into numbers. And in terms of the closure of our nonimmigrant visa section, that means all nonimmigrant visas except for emergency cases. That’s a fairly broad category. The largest category there is the so-called B1/B2 visa, which involves tourism and business, most business travel. So yes, those are also unavailable right now because the section remains closed.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL TWO: Correct.

QUESTION: Okay.

OPERATOR: Ginger Thompson, New York Times.

QUESTION: Hi, thanks a lot. I’m wondering about the MCC money again. I just want to be clear, sorry.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Sure.

QUESTION: It’s not terminated formally yet until this group meets next week? I mean, you guys are going to work for that, you expect to get that, I’m sure, but it has not been terminated as of today?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Ginger, I don’t want to get into too many details about how that’s going to be formally terminated, because there are various ways to do this and we’re still working that through. But the Secretary has made very clear what direction she wants to head, so --

QUESTION: So she intends to terminate that?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Yes.

QUESTION: Okay. And the – can you tell me also how much money precisely still goes to Honduras in all categories – humanitarian, whatever? We keep talking about this chunk of humanitarian money that’s still going to Honduras. How much is that? And also, is there a difference in how Honduras’s aid would be restored depending on the determination of a legal coup, of a military coup? In other words, would it be easier for Honduras to have the aid restored since this is – has not been legally declared a military coup, if that makes sense?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Okay. Yeah, the --

QUESTION: In other words, I’ve heard Congress would have to get involved if this has been declared – if this had gotten some legal determination as a military coup, that Congress would have to get involved to restore the aid, that that – it won’t have to happen in this case because that determination was not made.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL TWO: I believe the answer – and actually, let me defer here to [Senior Administration Official One].

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Yeah, I’m sorry, I was in a --

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL TWO: Yeah.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: The – yeah, in terms of the – we’ll have to look exactly how we do a resumption here. There’s not an exact legal structure on this. We’ll – we will look at that when the time comes. We obviously do these – take these steps in close consultation with Congress and so forth, so we’ll be looking at how we do that when the time comes.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL TWO: And the determination will also be, in either event, built upon the facts and circumstances of the situation in Honduras, and the restoration of democratic and constitutional order in the country. Just wanted to make sure that that was clear, that that aspect of how you – how assistance is resumed doesn’t depend on the mechanism with which it was terminated.

OPERATOR: Once again, if you’d like to ask a question, please press *1 and record your first and last name.

QUESTION: This is Harry Edwards (ph). I believe that (inaudible) was looking for a total of what was still going in.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Yeah. In terms of total money going into Honduras that was in the pipeline, which includes MCC, which is 135, was 200. Going to the Honduran – that amount going to the Honduran Government, a total of about a hundred, of which the 30 has been – the 22 – about 22, not counting the MCC, so – because the 30-plus that we’re talking about is the MCC 11 plus another roughly 22, and so another balance of about 70 or so that comes under that category of humanitarian assistance that we’re continuing. So roughly 70 would be the number. And we can get you more details on that if you’d like them of what that – what all that entails.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL TWO: And that – again, to underscore, that is based on – we have been very careful throughout this process, recognizing the fragility of the Honduran economy before the events of June 28th and the poverty that unfortunately is quite harsh in Honduras of the need not to squeeze the Honduran people, but rather to direct our efforts against the de facto authorities and those who have supported the coup so that the money that continues to flow is in the nature of humanitarian assistance and assistance that is kind of fundamentally important to the Honduran people.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL THREE: This is [Senior Administration Official Three]. Maybe I can just sort of back up what [Senior Administration Official Two] has said by giving you a flavor of the ongoing programs that have not been disrupted. These are programs – for example, teacher training, basic education, girls leadership skills training, food security, aid to small farmers, biodiversity, anti-gang, youth-at-risk activities, so a broad spectrum of humanitarian that are designed to assist the most vulnerable elements of the (inaudible).

MR. KELLY: Lee, this is Ian Kelly. I think we only have time for one more question if there are any more questions.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Yeah, and just following up on that point that [Senior Administration Official Three] said, we’ve stated several times throughout this, as both [Senior Administration Official Three] and [Senior Administration Official Two] had indicated, that this is one of the poorest countries in the hemisphere, and the point here is to take measures that recognize resistance on the part of the de facto regime to the accords and our overall effort to get people to agree under the San Jose Accords, not to punish the – particularly the most needy people of Honduras.

MR. KELLY: Lee, any more questions?

OPERATOR: Monica Showalter with Investors Business, your line is open.

QUESTION: Thank you. I wanted to ask – Ian Kelly has pointed out that the U.S. has exerted probably the strongest of sanctions, at least that it can do. And I get the sense that everybody else is pulling away, though. I mean, Hugo Chavez has said he doesn’t think Zelaya will be receipted. The IMF has resumed lending. The OAS has said we’re going to now focus on coup prevention. It all has the look of people – you know, many other countries that are moving away. Do we run the risk of going it alone in these sanctions measures? I know Castro hasn’t pulled his doctors yet, and I’m not aware of many other comparable actions from other countries. Are you urging other countries to do the same to ratchet up the pressure, or do we run the risk of, you know, being the only one that does these kinds of actions?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: No, this is still very much an international effort. We actually talked to President Arias today and he was very encouraged by the steps taken today and is determined to redouble efforts under the San Jose Accords to reach an agreement. So this is a regional and international effort. We’ve talked to the Europeans. We’ll be talking more to the Europeans about the situation. So if anything, we’ll be redoubling efforts moving forward on this. And no, we’re not isolated at all.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. KELLY: Okay. I think that concludes our teleconference. Thanks for participating. Just to remind everyone, this was on background. The attribution is Senior Administration Officials.




PRN: 2009/871

[This is a mobile copy of Senior Administration Officials on Honduras]