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Honduras: Israel pressures Lobo on Palestine UN vote

Perry-CastaƱeda Library Map Collection

On Aug. 2 Honduran president Porfirio ("Pepe") Lobo Sosa announced that Honduras plans to support an effort by the Palestinian Authority to win recognition for Palestine as a state during the United Nations General Assembly meeting in September. Israeli officials reacted immediately. On Aug. 3 the ambassador to Honduras, Eliahu López, called the statement "a dagger wound in the heart of Israel." In Jerusalem the Foreign Ministry called in Honduran ambassador José Isaías Barahona to express "surprise" and "disappointment." According to the Jerusalem Post, Deputy Director General for Latin America Dorit Shavit "reminded the ambassador that Israel stood by Honduras two years ago when it went through a constitutional crisis that led to widespread worldwide condemnation"—apparently a reference to the June 2009 military coup that overthrew former president José Manuel ("Mel") Zelaya Rosales (2006-2009). [Israel was apparently one of the few countries to recognize the de facto regime after the coup.]

Honduran officials stressed that the government wants to continue good relations with Israel and that Lobo's remarks were in preparation for discussion of the issue at the Aug. 19 meeting of the System for Central American Integration (SICA), which includes the Dominican Republic along with the seven countries in Central America. Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua already recognize Palestine, as do many Latin American countries. (Prensa Latina, Aug. 4; EFE, Aug. 4, via Panama America; Jerusalem Post, Aug. 5)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, August 7.

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