Honduras' Zelaya says he returns for peace, dialogue
www.chinaview.cn 2009-09-22 10:56:32   Print
°§Ousted Zelaya confirmed he is in Brazilian embassy in Honduran capital Tegucigalpa.
°§"I am seeking a peaceful conclusion to Honduras' crisis, " Zelaya said.
°§Zelaya's return drew an angry reaction from the de facto government.

 

Honduras' ousted President Manuel Zelaya talks to his supporters at the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, capital of Honduras, Sept. 21, 2009. Honduras' de facto government announced Monday that the night-time curfew declared earlier was extended into daytime Tuesday for fears of protests in favor of ousted President Manuel Zelaya. (Xinhua/delmer membreo)

Honduras' ousted President Manuel Zelaya talks to his supporters at the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, capital of Honduras, Sept. 21, 2009. Honduras' de facto government announced Monday that the night-time curfew declared earlier was extended into daytime Tuesday for fears of protests in favor of ousted President Manuel Zelaya. (Xinhua/delmer membreo)
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    TEGUCIGALPA, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Honduras' deposed President Manuel Zelaya confirmed on Monday that he was in the Brazilian embassy in the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa. He said he had returned to negotiate a peaceful return to democracy.

Ousted Honduran President, Manuel Zelaya (C), waves to supporters and reporters after arriving at the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa on Sept. 21, 2009. Manuel Zelaya, who was deposed from Honduras' presidency by a June 28 military coup, told media on Monday that he had returned to the nation's capital Tegucigalpa. (Xinhua)

Ousted Honduran President, Manuel Zelaya (C), waves to supporters and reporters after arriving at the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa on Sept. 21, 2009. Manuel Zelaya, who was deposed from Honduras' presidency by a June 28 military coup, told media on Monday that he had returned to the nation's capital Tegucigalpa. (Xinhua)
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    "Thanks to Brazil's President Luis Inacio da Silva and its Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, we have protection and a home in the Brazilian embassy ... that is where we are going to be for the moment," Zelaya told the Cable News Network (CNN).

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    Zelaya said he had arrived in the capital after a 15-hour trip through the mountains, constantly changing his mode of transport in order to evade the checkpoints set up by the post-coup regime under former legislative speaker Roberto Micheletti.

    Zelaya's return drew an angry reaction from the de facto government, which accused Brazil of "interfering with Hondurans' internal affairs" and "a flagrant violation of international law."

    In a statement, the de facto Foreign Ministry called Zelaya a fugitive trying to foment "insurrection." It warned the Brazilian government would be held directly responsible for any violence that could take place outside its embassy.

    On Monday, the post-coup government had declared a curfew from 4 p.m. (2200 GMT) to 7 a.m. (1300 GMT). It had declared a curfew on June 28, which was later reduced and removed altogether in mid-July.

    During a CNN interview, Zelaya declared he was willing to negotiate with the post-coup government. "I am seeking a peaceful conclusion to Honduras' crisis," he announced.

Honduras' ousted President Manuel Zelaya greets supporters inside the Brazilian embassy after his arrival in Tegucigalpa Sept. 21, 2009. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
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    According to Zelaya, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) Jose Miguel Insulza had already telephoned him to express support and would be willing to visit Honduras to help with negotiations.

    "I have support domestically and internationally. That is going to allow us to create a peace mechanism for the nation," he said.

    The OAS held an emergency session on Monday after Zelaya's return, and decided to send a mission to Honduras on Tuesday.

    "We believe that this increases the pressure to reach agreement through dialogue," Insulza told the session. "We all want a peaceful solution to this matter, and we all want to make a contribution."

    In a statement published by the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, the U.S. government called for both sides to refrain from what it called "any provocative action."

    The statement added that the United States continued to advocate the San Jose Accord, a peace plan brokered by Costa Rica's President Oscar Arias.

    The San Jose Agreement stipulates Zelaya's restoration to power, political amnesty, and to advance the general elections from November to October.

    Zelaya had expressed support for the agreement drawn up by Arias, but the de facto government would not accept Zelaya's return to Honduras' presidency.

    Shortly after his CNN interview, Zelaya called for his rivals to remain calm and make efforts for peace.

    "It is time to meet us again, to design the path to recover calm in Honduras. I hope the armed forces do not use weapons and come here to interrupt the dialogue that seeks unity in Honduras," Zelaya told a press conference at the Brazilian embassy.

    The deposed president had told a local broadcaster that he would announce a place for holding the dialogue within a couple of hours and that his ultimate goal was to return sovereignty to the Honduran people.

    Zelaya was ousted on June 28 and taken by force to Costa Rica. A few hours later the nation's unicameral legislature, the Congress, appointed its leader Micheletti as the new president.

    Earlier, media reports had quoted Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and other sources as saying that Zelaya was being hosted at the United Nations building in the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa. Thousands of Zelaya supporters had gathered at the local UN headquarters in Honduras, rallying under the banner of the National Coup Resistance Organization.

    However, the UN coordinator in Honduras, Rebeca Arias, said Zelaya had not been sighted at the UN headquarters in Honduras.

    "I have not seen him in the building," Arias told CNN.

Editor: Li Xianzhi
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