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Chile resumes diplomatic relations with Honduras

By Gustavo Valdes, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Chile withdrew ambassador to Honduras after political crisis
  • A Chilean official says Honduras has made significant steps toward democracy
  • Last June, Manuel Zelaya was removed from office
  • Porfirio Lobo was elected president in November

(CNN) -- Chile is re-establishing diplomatic relations with Honduras more than a year after a coup sent the Central American country into political crisis, Chile's foreign ministry announced Friday.

In a declaration posted on its website, the ministry said it based its decision on a report released by the Organization of American States noting significant steps towards normal democratic practices and the defense of human rights in Honduras.

Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno said in a press conference that the Chilean government recognizes Honduras President Porfirio Lobo was elected in a free and democratic process.

Lobo was elected president in November of last year with 56 percent of the vote. His election came months after the ouster of former President Manuel Zelaya, who was removed from office by the Honduran National Congress after he tried to change the country's constitution to allow for his re-election.

Chile and many other nations broke off relations with Honduras after the coup, and some have refused to recognize Lobo's election.

Moreno said his country's diplomatic presence in Honduras will help strengthen the democratic process in that country.