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UN condemns 'intimidation' of Zelaya at Brazilian embassy

The United Nations Security Council has condemned "acts of intimidation" at Brazil's embassy in Honduras where deposed President Manuel Zaleya has been sheltering, prompting a tense standoff with Honduran security forces surrounding the mission.


Reuters - The U.N. Security Council condemned on Friday "acts of intimidation" at Brazil's embassy in Honduras, but said the organization of American States should continue to take the lead on talks to reinstate ousted President Manuel Zelaya.

Zelaya has been sheltering in the Brazilian embassy since slipping back into the country on Monday, prompting a tense standoff with Honduran security forces surrounding the mission.

"We condemn acts of intimidation against the Brazilian embassy and call upon the de facto government of Honduras to cease harassing the Brazilian embassy," Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and the current Security
Council president, told reporters after a meeting on Honduras.

The de facto Honduran government has prohibited people from returning to the embassy once they have left, has periodically cut off power or water supplies, and has only allowed humanitarian organizations to deliver food to the embassy, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said.

Rice said the safety of the Brazilian embassy was the main focus of the meeting, rather than the crisis in Honduras that the OAS has tried to mediate.

The council is not expected to meet again on the issue, she said. Zelaya was overthrown in a June 28 coup.

"The council looks to the regional mediation to continue its work on the larger political question of Honduras," Rice said.

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias has lead mediation efforts of the OAS.

The Security Council is charged with handling matters of "international peace and security," and as such would face resistance from members to intervene directly.

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