BUENOS AIRES, June 30 (Xinhua) -- Argentine President Cristina Fernandez will probably accompany Honduras' ousted President Manuel Zelaya on the latter's planned return to his country on Thursday, Argentina's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
Fernandez accepted an invitation from the secretary-general of the Organization of American States, Chile's Jose Miguel Insulza, for the region's heads of state to accompany Zelaya on his return trip.
Fernandez has publicly defended Zelaya as Honduras' "constitutional governor" after a coup that took place in the early hours of Sunday morning, during which Zelaya was kidnapped from the Presidential Palace and forced to board a plane to Costa Rica. Fernandez described these events as a "return to barbarity."
"We think the exercise of democracy and respect for the will of the people is very important," Fernandez told a Monday press conference.
Argentina has already ordered the withdrawal of its ambassador to Honduras, although a diplomatic representative remains in place. The nations of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas went further, pulling out all but the most junior staff.
Zelaya announced his decision to go back to Honduras capital Tegucigalpa on Thursday during an emergency meeting of the Central American Integration System (SICA) heads of state held in Nicaragua's capital Managua.
Insulza has already separately confirmed that he will travel to Tegucigalpa with Zelaya.
Announcing his decision to Chilean television, Insulza said: "It is not true that there was a congressional meeting to remove the president, that there was a constitutional accusation nor that they followed legal procedures. There has been an old-fashioned military coup and that is not acceptable."
He said that Honduras' dictatorship will not last because it has no resources, no legal recognition, no access to credit, no status with any international bodies and no diplomatic relations with any nation.
"Insulza will enter, but Zelaya faces an arrest order in Honduras," said Roberto Micheletti, who became Honduras' president on Sunday at a legislative ceremony that Zelaya has denounced as fraudulent. Micheletti said that Zelaya had tried to negotiate his return to power with Honduras' army, and that he had been rejected.
Zelaya's mandate officially ends in January 2010. The post-coup government has said it will hold elections as normal in November.