Tuesday, October 27, 2009

U.S. to become directly involved in Honduran negotiations

[State Department spokesman Ian] Kelly said it was important for the two sides to end the crisis before the Nov. 29 election. Neither Zelaya nor Micheletti are running, but Zelaya has said Micheletti's refusal to reinstate him before the election will strip the vote's legitimacy and further isolate the de facto government.

"We want to see an election, which is coming in about exactly a month, to enjoy the kind of international legitimacy that these people of Honduras deserve for their government," Kelly said.

After the last round of talks broke down last Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telephoned both Zelaya and Micheletti and urged them to be flexible and to work harder to end the crisis.

She is sending Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas Shannon, his deputy Craig Kelly and Dan Restrepo, the director for Western Hemisphere affairs at the White House, to push the two sides toward a compromise.

The U.S. delegation plans to meet with representatives from both sides to seek common ground. It was not clear if Zelaya and Micheletti would meet face-to-face.

- Reuters

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