|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6192nd Meeting (AM)
Brazil Calls on Security Council to Ensure Security of Embassy in Honduras
Saying Actions, Statements Threaten Its Diplomatic Status
Facility Besieged over Deposed President’s Legitimate Presence -- Foreign Minister
Brazil’s Foreign Minister today called on the Security Council to ensure the security of his country’s embassy in Honduras, where deposed Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya has taken shelter since 21 September.
“It is imperative to ensure that the regime in Honduras fully respect and comply with the Vienna Convention regarding the Brazilian Embassy, in particular its inviolability and the security of its personnel and the people inside its premises,” Minister for External Relations Celso Amorim told the 15-member body in a briefing before it adjourned for consultations on the matter.
Mr. Amorim said he understood that by calling the meeting, the Council recognized that the situation constituted a threat to the region’s peace and security. “Any action against the Embassy of Brazil, its personnel, or against the people under its protection must therefore be considered a flagrant breach of security,” he added.
The Minister said he was gravely concerned that the same people who had perpetrated the coup d’état in Honduras might threaten the Embassy’s inviolability in order forcefully to arrest President Zelaya. Their actions and statements implied that the Embassy had ceased to enjoy diplomatic status. “Besides public statements to the same effect, the de facto Government sent a communication directly to the Ministry of External Relations, in which it refers to the Embassy as ‘one of the facilities that the Brazilian Government still maintains in Tegucigalpa’,” he added.
Emphasizing that President Zelaya had been received at the Embassy in his legitimate capacity as the constitutional President of Honduras, Mr. Amorim said that, in a public communiqué, the de facto authorities had tried to deny responsibility for his safety and for damage caused to properties in the vicinity of the Embassy.
He said the facility had been virtually under siege since President Zelaya’s arrival, with electricity, water supply and phone connections cut off, cell phone communications hampered, and disruptive sound equipment installed in the front of the building. Access to food had been restricted and the movement of official Embassy vehicles curtailed. In addition, a bailiff had been sent with a warrant to search the premises.
To resolve the situation, Brazil supported dialogue based on the resolution of the Organization of American States and on the efforts conducted by President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica, the Minister said, adding that President Zelaya had assured him that he had returned with the aim of regaining power through dialogue and other peaceful means.
Mr. Amorim said a clear statement from the Council would certainly serve as a deterrent against further aggravation of the crisis. It would also be a sign of support for international diplomatic efforts towards a peaceful and speedy restoration of President Zelaya to office. Hopefully today’s meeting would be duly understood in Honduras as a sign that acts of disrespect against the Embassy of Brazil must cease immediately.
The meeting began at 11:20 a.m. and ended at 11:30.
* *** *For information media • not an official record