October 15, 2009 in Nation/World

Ousted, serving presidents work on Zelaya’s return

Honduran leaders say talks continuing
Juan Carlos Llorca Associated Press
Associated Press photo

Honduras’ ousted President Manuel Zelaya meets with members of a dialogue commission inside Brazil’s embassy in Tegucigalpa on Wednesday.
(Full-size photo)

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Negotiators reached a tentative agreement Wednesday on whether to return ousted President Manuel Zelaya to office, but both the deposed Honduran leader and the coup-installed president responded to the plan only by saying that talks would go on.

It was unclear exactly what the proposed agreement entailed. Victor Meza, a negotiator for Zelaya, said representatives had reached consensus on the issue of Zelaya’s reinstatement, but he declined to give details until both Zelaya and interim President Roberto Micheletti had approved the plan.

Micheletti’s office released a statement later saying only that no definitive agreement had yet been reached and that talks would continue today.

Zelaya, who had been holed up at the Brazilian Embassy since sneaking back into the country from his forced exile last month, said at a news conference that the final text is still being worked out. He told a radio station later that he had little confidence in Micheletti’s commitment to reaching an agreement.

“I don’t believe in what the coup leaders say. I think that when it comes to the key point of rejecting the coup – which means my reinstatement to office – Micheletti will give another slap to the world because he will oppose it,” Zelaya told Radio Globo, a station that was closed by the interim government two weeks ago but has been broadcasting on the Internet.

Beatriz Valles, the foreign minister of the ousted government, said talks had been postponed until today at Micheletti’s request.

Jose Miguel Insulza, the secretary-general of the Organization of American States, said he was hopeful for a breakthrough in the crisis, which started when soldiers flew Zelaya into exile at gunpoint in a dispute over changing the Honduran constitution.

“I don’t want to be excessively optimistic … but I think there have been significant advances that allow us to hope for a Honduran solution to a Honduran crisis,” Insulza told the OAS General Assembly in Washington.

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