UN condemns Brazil embassy harassment


The UN Security Council condemned today "acts of intimidation" at Brazil's embassy in Honduras, but said the Organization of American States should continue to take the lead on talks to reinstate ousted President Manuel Zelaya.

Mr Zelaya has been sheltering in the Brazilian embassy since slipping back into the country on Monday, prompting a tense standoff with Honduran security forces surrounding the mission.

"We condemn acts of intimidation against the Brazilian embassy and call upon the de facto government of Honduras to cease harassing the Brazilian embassy," Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the United Nations and the current Security Council president, told reporters after a meeting on Honduras.

The de facto Honduran government has prohibited people from returning to the embassy once they have left, has periodically cut off power or water supplies, and has only allowed humanitarian organizations to deliver food to the embassy, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said.

Ms Rice said the safety of the Brazilian embassy was the main focus of the meeting, rather than the crisis in Honduras that the OAS has tried to mediate.

The council is not expected to meet again on the issue, she said. Mr Zelaya was overthrown in a June 28th coup.

"The council looks to the regional mediation to continue its work on the larger political question of Honduras," Ms Rice said.

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias has lead mediation efforts of the OAS.

The Security Council is charged with handling matters of "international peace and security," and as such would face resistance from members to intervene directly.