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Brazil names new ambassador to Honduras
[September 30, 2009]

Brazil names new ambassador to Honduras

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sep 30, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Brazil's Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday that the country will have a new ambassador in Honduras soon.

The new ambassador, Mario Roiter, will replace Brian Michael Fraser Neele, who will be relocated to Antigua and Barbuda. Roiter previously served in the Brazilian embassy in Kuwait.

The ministry said the change is not related to the recent crisis in Honduras, but is due to the expiry of Ambassador Neele's tenure. Neele was on vacation in Brazil when Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was deposed in late June, and did not return to his post since then.

Brazil and Honduras have been locked in a political impasse since Sept. 21, when Zelaya began taking refuge in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa after returning to Honduras.

Since then, the de facto government of Roberto Micheletti has been pressuring Brazil into handing out Zelaya. The embassy's phone lines were cut, as were power and water supplies. The embassy building is under siege.

Last week, two people died during clashes between protesters and police.

Brazil opposed the coup in Honduras since the beginning.

Besides pulling out its ambassador, the Brazilian government also suspended the visa waiver agreement and several cooperation programs with Honduras.

The Foreign Ministry said Ambassador Roiter will not take office until the Honduran crisis is solved since sending back an ambassador could give the wrong impression that Brazil recognizes the current Honduran government.

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