Honduras negotiations stumble


Meetings aimed at ending the political crisis in Honduras began on Thursday at the home of Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, but hours later there was sign of any headway.

Arias, who has taken on the role of mediator, hosted ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and Roberto Micheletti, leader of the newly installed government, in separate meetings.

Zelaya arrived first at Arias’ home in the Rohrmoser neighbourhood of San Jose, meeting for more than an hour. Arias later spent about three hours with Micheletti.

Zelaya and Micheletti each named four-member delegations to pursue further talks.

Micheletti thanked Arias for his efforts but said he was returning later on Thursday to Tegucigalpa. It was not immediately known whether Zelaya would stay in Costa Rica.

As he left the meeting, Micheletti only committed to holding “transparent and safe” elections on November 29, as scheduled even before the coup. He left the door open to further talks and stressed that he trusted Arias’ mediation efforts.

Arias, who was awarded the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in bringing peace to war-torn Central America, had asked to have two days for these preliminary talks.

Jose Miguel Insulza, secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), said Thursday in Washington that the outcome of the talks would be quickly apparent.

“The news will be that there was no chance for an agreement, that there was an agreement, or that they agreed to meet again. But what is not going to happen is that they spend four or five days talking,” Insulza said.

While Micheletti met with Arias, about 200 Costa Ricans rallied near the Arias’ home to express opposition to Zelaya’s ouster.

Earlier, Micheletti, who as Honduran Congress speaker was designated to head the government after the June 28 coup that ousted Zelaya, spent more than an hour at the San Jose airport demanding “security guarantees,” refusing to leave for his meeting with Arias until his demands were satisfied.

Micheletti said he was optimistic that a way out of the ongoing Honduran political crisis could be found. “I have faith that there can be a solution,” he said.

Zelaya was less conciliatory when he arrived late on Wednesday in San Jose, calling Micheletti “a criminal who has beaten down our people and the rights of our democracy.”

Zelaya, whose ouster was widely condemned by the international community, stressed that he had not come to San Jose for negotiations on his reinstatement as president.

“I want to clarify that our presence here is not due to any negotiation,” he said. “It’s as if you are invited to negotiate with a criminal who raped your family.”

In Washington, Insulza reiterated that Micheletti should “accept the return of the constitutional president,” in line with an OAS resolution that suspended Honduran membership until Zelaya was reinstated.

“In the end we have to get to the return of President Zelaya,” Insulza said. “Everything else is negotiable.”

Following any deal, the OAS will have to decide whether to lift its suspension of Honduras, he said.

DPA.de & SAPA.co.za via TheTimes.co.za

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One Response

  1. PLEASE FOR ALL THE MEDIA WE ARE LIVING HERE IN HONDURAS, WE DO NOT WANT ZELAYA’S BACK!!!!
    HE WAS TRYING TO CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION,THAT’S BECAUSE HE WAS OUSTED FROM HERE.

    IF HE REMAINED HERE HIS FOLLOWERS COULD FIRE JAIL!! I SWEAR!!!

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