Obama Welcomes Honduran President to White House

Posted October 5th, 2011 at 6:25 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama has welcomed his Honduran counterpart, Porfirio Lobo, to the White House and praised the Honduran leader for what Mr. Obama called his “strong commitment to democracy” following a 2009 coup.

Before the two leaders held talks Wednesday, Mr. Obama also spoke of a new chapter in bilateral relations and said the coup that ousted then-President Manuel Zelaya threatened to move Honduras away from democracy. But Mr. Obama said Mr. Lobo's leadership is responsible for helping restore constitutional order and democracy and allowing Honduras to rejoin the Organization of American States.

Honduras was suspended from the OAS following the widely-condemned coup.

President Lobo thanked President Obama for U.S. support now and during the crisis. Mr. Lobo said Honduras is on the road to reconciliation, with political parties scheduled to hold primaries in 2012, and a general election scheduled for the following year.

After Mr. Zelaya's overthrow, the United States and OAS failed to persuade an interim government to restore him to power. Honduras then held previously scheduled elections, which Mr. Lobo won. He took office last year.