Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – The Dominican government announced a deal Wednesday with Honduras’ president-elect to give ousted leader Manuel Zelaya safe passage to this Caribbean nation.
The pact would let Zelaya, who has been holed up in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa nearly four months, fly here as a guest after Porfirio Lobo takes office as Honduras’ president Jan. 27, Dominican presidential spokesman Rafael Nunez said.
Lobo said he was confident Honduras’ political crisis would ease after his inauguration on the final day of Zelaya’s term.
Lobo, a wealthy rancher who won Honduras’ Nov. 29 presidential election, previously called for granting amnesty both to Zelaya and to all of those involved in the coup that removed the leader in a fight over constitutional change.
Zelaya was toppled in a June 28 military-backed coup and flown into exile after repeatedly ignoring court orders to drop plans for a referendum on rewriting the constitution. He was charged with treason and abuse of authority.
New Zealand rejects inscriptions
Wellington, New Zealand – New Zealand said today that Biblical citations inscribed on U.S.-manufactured weapon sights used by New Zealand’s troops in Afghanistan will be removed, saying they are inappropriate and could stoke religious tensions.
The inscriptions on products from defense contractor Trijicon of Wixom, Mich., came to light this week in the U.S. where Army officials said Tuesday they would investigate whether the gun sights – also used by U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq – violate U.S. procurement laws.
Trijicon said it has had such inscriptions on its products for three decades and has never received complaints about them before. The inscriptions, which don’t include actual text from the Bible, refer numerically to passages from the book.
New Zealand defense force spokesman Maj. Kristian Dunne said that Trijicon would be instructed to remove the inscriptions from further orders of the gun sights for New Zealand and that the letters would be removed from gun sights already in use by troops.
“The inscriptions … put us in a difficult situation. We were unaware of it and we’re unhappy that the manufacturer didn’t give us any indication that these were on there,” Dunne said.