Remarks With Honduran Foreign Minister Mario Canahuati Before Their Meeting
Secretary of State
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SECRETARY CLINTON: I want to welcome the foreign minister of Honduras here today. He’s been in Washington holding a series of meetings with a number of officials both from our government and others as well. And I’m looking forward to my conversation with him.
As I have said on numerous occasions, I think that the steps that President Lobo and his government have taken deserve our support, and we want to work with the government and the people of Honduras to get them back fully on the path of democracy, the rule of law, good governance. I had a long conversation a few weeks ago with President Lobo about his plans to try to improve the standard of living and the quality of life of the Honduran people, to deal with the drug trafficking and the crime that stalks all of Central America.
So, Minister, I appreciate your coming so that we can have an in-depth conversation about these and other issues.
FOREIGN MINISTER CANAHUATI: Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: If you would like to say anything, you’re welcome to.
FOREIGN MINISTER CANAHUATI: Well, it’s a great honor to be here with you. Our relationship with the U.S. have been (inaudible) on values and respond to the needs of the people. I think this is not just an approach where we want to review our relationship as governments, but really evaluate what we’re doing for our people.
Democracy has to do with opportunities, with strong institutions, with respect of human rights. And in this moment, our president has shown his commitment on the political side to move forward with initiatives like the Truth Commission, appointing a minister of human rights, which will be his advisor in terms of making sure that this issue, which is a state issue, is being managed the right way.
And the main, important thing for him is how to respond to the needs of the people. He believes that we have to change our economy in terms of making it more inclusive. We cannot have strong democracies when people are not being – that don’t have the increase of – the spaces to have increase of opportunity and increase of income.
So those are the challenges that we have as a country, and no doubt, we’re here to combine or to share these principles with Madam Secretary and see how we can work together. We cannot improvise anymore. This is not a matter of what’s happening with the government, with the people who are governing the countries, but with the people that are suffering because of the lack of decisions and because of the lack of consciousness, that there is people suffering because we’re more in control or we’re more aware about the decision we have to make in the political level, but in terms of the decision we have to make to respond to the needs of the people.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, sir.
FOREIGN MINISTER CANAHUATI: Thank you, Madam.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you all very much.
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