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Mexico, Chile to return ambassadors to Honduras, recognize new government a year after coup

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico and Chile are formally recognizing the government of Honduran President Porfirio Lobo a year after his predecessor was ousted by a military-backed coup.

Mexico's Foreign Relations Department said Saturday in a statement that it will send its ambassador back to Honduras next week.

The department took into account a recent report commissioned by the Organization of American States that found "significant advances on the part of the government and other Honduran actors to deal with the main problems that came about after the coup," according to the statement.

Late Friday, Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno said his nation's ambassador would also return to Tegucigalpa. He did not specify when.

Former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was seized at gunpoint by soldiers and flown out of the country on June 28, 2009. Soon after, several Latin American governments withdrew their ambassadors in protest and to push for Zelaya's reinstatement.

Lobo won office in November in a vote that was scheduled before the coup, though critics of the interim government said the campaign was conducted in a climate of fear that precluded a fair election.

A year later, nations such as Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Nicaragua refuse to recognize Lobo's legitimacy.

Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, a socialist, was in charge when her nation pulled its ambassador; she was succeeded by the conservative Sebastian Pinera in March.

Zelaya is currently living in exile in the Dominican Republic.