Clinton to meet ousted Honduran leader

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said Monday he would travel later in the evening to Washington where he would hold talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“We will leave at 19:00 local time (0100 GMT) for Washington for a meeting at the State Department and also a meeting with Secretary Hillary Clinton,” Zelaya told journalists in the Nicaraguan capital.

Zelaya said he had spoken to Clinton about a recent resolution from the Organization of American States (OAS) that called for his “immediate and unconditional” reinstatement to office.

On Sunday, one week after he was ousted in a military-backed coup, Zelaya attempted to return to Tegucigalpa, but his plane was prevented from landing by army vehicles strewn across the airport’s runway.

His attempt stoked already inflamed tensions on the ground in Honduras, as troops fired tear gas and shot on angry Zelaya supporters trying to break into airport.

Two people were killed in the clashes.

The United States on Monday condemned the violence against demonstrators and urged the interim government and other players to seek a peaceful solution to the crisis.

“We deplore the use of force against demonstrators in Tegucigalpa in recent days,” State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said. “We once again call upon the de facto regime and all actors in Honduras to refrain from all acts of violence.”

The interim government insists that the president violated the law by attempting to go ahead with a referendum on the constitution last Sunday after the Supreme Court ruled against it.

But the interim leaders have failed to convince any foreign governments that the coup was a “constitutional succession.”

In a glimmer of hope, interim leaders on Sunday said they had put forward an offer for dialogue in “good faith” with the OAS, after they previously said they were pulling out of the body ahead of the suspension.


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