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October 05, 2011

Two years after a coup, White House welcomes a new president from Honduras

President Barack Obama welcomed Porfirio "Pepe" Lobo Sosa -- the new president of Honduras -- to the White House Wednesday -- two years after Hondurans ousted a pajamas-clad former president in a coup.

Obama called the visit an "opportunity to reaffirm the friendship" between Americans and Hondurans.

"Today also begins a new chapter in the relationship between our two countries," he said adding that "because of the strong commitment to democracy and leadership by President Lobo, what we’ve been seeing is a restoration of democratic practices and a commitment to reconciliation that gives us great hope."

He said the pair were to talk about economic development, ensuring that human rights were observed in Honduras, as well as tamping down the transnational drug trade.  

Obama came under criticism from Republicans for the administration's handling of the coup, but Lobo said that "at a time of great crisis you were there to help, and you were there to help us restore the family that is our nation."

He said the country still faces an "enormous challenge" with crime and drug trafficking.


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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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