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De facto Honduran government demands Zelaya disarm his guards

RIA Novosti

07:16 08/10/2009 MEXICO, October 8 (RIA Novosti) - The de facto Honduran government demanded on Thursday that ousted President Manuel Zelaya hand in firearms of his bodyguards.

Foreign ministers of South American states, representatives of international organizations, delegations representing Zelaya and the de facto government have gathered in the Honduran capital for talks on resolving the country's political crisis.

"We know that armed foreign and Honduran nationals are on the territory of the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa. According to international laws, armed outsiders are not allowed on the territory of a foreign mission," the foreign minister of the interim government said on Thursday during the talks.

"We demand that Zelaya disarm them and voluntarily hand in 17 guns," Carlos Lopez Contreras said.

Brazil's envoy to the Organization of American States, Ruy Casaes, confirmed that the ousted president was accompanied by a group of armed bodyguards when he returned to the country on September 21 and took refuge in the Brazilian Embassy. The bodyguards later handed in their firearms to embassy staff, who locked the guns up in a vault.

Casaes said about 60 Honduras nationals and two Brazilian diplomats are currently taking refuge on the premises on the embassy.

President Manuel Zelaya was bundled out of Honduras on June 28 by the military, acting on instructions from the Supreme Court and parliament, for his efforts to seek an unconstitutional second presidential term. He was flown to Costa Rica.

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