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US to cut off aid to Honduras
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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has decided to cut off all non-humanitarian aid to Honduras over the June coup that overthrew President Manuel Zelaya, said her spokesman on Thursday.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters that the state secretary recognized when she was meeting with Zelaya here "the need for strong measures" to overcome the de facto regime's resistance to international efforts to end the crisis.

"The Secretary of State has made the decision, consistent with US legislation, recognizing the need for strong measures in light of the continued resistance to the adoption of the San Jose Accord by the de facto regime and continuing failure to restore democratic, constitutional rule to Honduras," Kelly said.

However, he did not say how much assistance would be cut. Earlier US media reports said that the decision concerns an economic aid of more than 200 million US dollar.

The US government has earlier announced the suspension of nearly 20 million dollars in military and development assistance to Honduras.

Kelly also said that the United States would not recognize the results of the scheduled election in Honduras, which it does not believe can meet international standards.

"That election must be undertaken in a free, fair and transparent manner," he said. "It must also be free of taint and open to all Hondurans to exercise their democratic franchise. At this moment, we would not be able to support the outcome of the scheduled elections."

Besides the cutoff of aid, the US government would also revoke its visas to an unspecified number of Honduran officials who are backing Honduras' post-coup leader Roberto Micheletti.

Zelaya, who was removed from the Honduran presidency by a political-military coup on June 28, was replaced by Micheletti.

Despite strong international support during his two-month expulsion, Zelaya has been unsuccessful at returning to power.

(Xinhua News Agency September 4, 2009)

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