Canada Welcomes Agreement in Honduran Negotiations

(No. 326 – October 30, 2009 – 6:10 p.m. EDT) The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas), today welcomed the positive outcome of negotiations in Honduras.

"I am very pleased that negotiators for Honduran president Manuel Zelaya and interim leader Roberto Micheletti were able to reach an agreement on a way out of the political impasse affecting their country," said Minister of State Kent. "This has been a difficult process requiring considerable compromise on both sides, and great courage has been shown by all those involved. I commend President Zelaya, Mr. Micheletti and all parties to the peace talks for their strong leadership and for seeing past their differences to put the best interests of their country first.

"I would also like to thank Costa Rican president Óscar Arias for his important mediation efforts, which laid the groundwork for the agreement, and Organization of American States Secretary General José Miguel Insulza for the leadership and persistence he demonstrated."

The agreement, which will be put to a vote in Congress, provides for the creation of a government of national unity until a new president takes office on January 27, 2010. The agreement also provides for the creation of a verification commission to ensure that all aspects of the agreement are respected, and a truth commission to investigate the facts that led to the political crisis, as well as for the normalization of relations with the international community.

"From the beginning, Canada has worked closely with all key interlocutors to advance a peaceful, negotiated solution to the political crisis in Honduras," said Minister of State Kent. "We are committed to continuing to working with Honduras to ensure the agreement is properly implemented."

Canada has indicated that, once the agreement is finalized, it will be able to quickly begin assisting with its implementation, as well as with the fast-approaching November 29 elections.

"The upcoming elections will be absolutely crucial to putting this crisis behind us," said Mr. Kent. "We need to work quickly and collectively to ensure that the November elections are free and fair, and monitored by national and international observers."

Minister of State Kent has been very active throughout the political crisis in Honduras. On October 7 and 8, he participated in the high-level mission of the Organization of American States to Tegucigalpa in support of a negotiated solution to the impasse.

For more information, please visit Situation in Honduras.

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Eleanor Johnston
Senior Special Assistant (Communications)
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada