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Clinton, Zelaya to Discuss Honduran Crisis

By VOA News
03 September 2009

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya meet Thursday in Washington for another round of talks on the crisis surrounding his ouster more than two months ago.

Clinton and Mr. Zelaya last met in July in the days following his removal from office.

The U.S. government is considering whether to make a formal declaration that Mr. Zelaya's June 28 overthrow was a coup. Such action would mean that a suspension of most U.S. aid to the Central American country would become permanent.

U.S. House Representative Howard Berman has urged Clinton to formally designate the events a coup, saying, "it's time to stop hedging."

In an opinion piece published in a California newspaper Thursday, Berman, the chairman of the House Foreign Relations committee, said whether or not Mr. Zelaya was a good president, he was elected to the post and deposed at gunpoint.

The caretaker Honduran government of President Roberto Micheletti says Mr. Zelaya was legally removed. The interim leaders say Mr. Zelaya violated a Supreme Court order to drop efforts to change the constitution.

The United States has refused to recognize the new government.

Mr. Zelaya on Wednesday addressed an audience in Washington at George Washington University and urged the U.S. to take a harder line against his ouster.

The interim government has refused to accept a Costa Rica-brokered plan that would allow Mr. Zelaya to return to Honduras and complete his term. The Micheletti administration has proposed handing power to Supreme Court President Jorge Rivera Aviles.

Mr. Zelaya held talks Tuesday with the Organization of American States, which suspended Honduras's participation last month for refusing to reinstate him.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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