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Ousted Honduran president to try to return home again

RIA Novosti

14:51 04/09/2009 MOSCOW, September 4 (RIA Novosti) - Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya is set to make another attempt to return to his homeland "in the next few days," Latin American media reported on Friday.

"I can guarantee that my return to Honduras is inevitable... I do not abandon the idea of returning to my home country and I will not terminate my [presidential] mandate. I'm set to return to Honduras in the next few days," he told Venezuela's Telesur TV channel.

The Honduran military arrested Zelaya on June 28, the day polls were due to open for a nonbinding referendum on extending the non-renewable, four-year presidential term of office, and flew him to Costa Rica. The de facto Honduran leadership has not been recognized by the international community.

Zelaya has so far made two attempts to return. On July 5 he tried to fly into the country, but was stopped after police and troops blocked the runway. On July 25 he briefly crossed into his country and then retreated to Nicaragua, as the military blocked the road 25 meters from the border.

Zelaya is currently in Washington where he met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday.

The U.S. has suspended an economic aid program to help Honduras fight poverty over the interim government's refusal to accept a 12-point plan devised by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias. Under the plan, Zelaya would return to his post, while interim leader Roberto Micheletti would return to his pre-coup post of parliamentary speaker.

The plan, known as the San Jose Accord, also offers a full amnesty for those who ousted the president, and suggests holding presidential elections in the country one month earlier than scheduled.

Micheletti refused to accept the proposal and announced that presidential elections would be held in Honduras as scheduled, even if the international community refused to recognize them.

 



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