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Zelaya, interim leader to meet but not 'negotiate'

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-10

Deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and interim leader Roberto Micheletti have both insisted that they will not "negotiate" during two days of talks mediated by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias.

AFP - Deposed Honduran president Manuel Zelaya was to meet Thursday with the country's interim leader amid talk that a congressional amnesty could clear the way for Zelaya's return.
   
The two days of talks between Zelaya and Roberto Micheletti, who have both insisted that they will not "negotiate," are being hosted by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, at his home in San Jose.
   
"It seems to me that there is willingness on both sides to seek a negotiated settlement through diplomacy, through dialogue," Arias said Wednesday.
   
But both Zelaya and Micheletti -- who was sworn in by Congress just hours after Zelaya's removal in a coup -- have made public statements suggesting the contrary.
   
"We're not going to negotiate, we're going to talk," Micheletti said Wednesday, as Zelaya told Chilean television that the meeting would plan "the exit of the coup leaders" and described his political opponent as a "thug."
   
Micheletti deepened doubt about the summit by saying he had not even made a final decision on whether he would attend the talks, after his political allies raised concerns that he could face "arrest" abroad.
   
Members of the Organization of American States (OAS), including the United States, nonetheless offered support for the dialogue, hoping that talks could offer a way out of the crisis that erupted with Zelaya's overthrow on June 28.
   
"There needs to be a specific mediator and, to that end, we are supporting the efforts of President Arias of Costa Rica to serve in this important role," US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters.
   
State Department spokesman Ian Kelly welcomed the Costa Rican initiative Wednesday saying: "We hope through this mechanism, there will be a peaceful resolution of this conflict."
   

Date created : 2009-07-09

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