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Talks between ousted Honduran leader and successor cancelled

RIA Novosti

01:47 14/12/2009 BUENOS-AIRES, December 14 (RIA Novosti) - A meeting between Manuel Zelaya, the ousted president of Honduras, and his elected successor, has been cancelled, the foreign ministry of the Dominican Republic, which was to host the talks, has announced.

The meeting between Zelaya and Porfirio Lobo was scheduled to take place in the Dominican Republic on Monday. Dominican President Leonel Fernandez was also expected to attend.

"The meeting of key figures of the political crisis in Honduras, scheduled to take place on Monday in Santo Domingo, was cancelled as the de-facto government did not allow president Manuel Zelaya to leave the country," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Zelaya was ousted as president in a coup on June 28 and the presidency was taken over by parliament Speaker Roberto Micheletti. In September the ousted leader secretly returned to Honduras, and has been holed up in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa ever since.

"Both Zelaya and Lobo were ready for a political dialog, but the [interim] government of Roberto Micheletti did not grant safe passage to the constitutional president," the ministry said.

Last week the ousted president's spokesman said that Zelaya, his wife Xiomara Castro and two children were set to leave for Mexico. The Mexican foreign ministry sent a plane to Honduras to take the "honored guest" to the country. The plane, however, was not allowed to land in Tegucigalpa.

The de facto authorities said Zelaya could leave Honduras only to seek political asylum, while the ousted leader said he would leave the country only as the head of state.

Porfirio Lobo of the Honduran opposition National Party won the recent elections, which took place amid an ongoing political crisis. He is to take office on January 27. Many countries and international bodies warned that they would not recognize the results if the polls were held under Micheletti's presidency.

Last week, the Honduran Congress voted against the reinstatement of Zelaya for the remainder of his term, which ends in January.

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