Zelaya to hold Honduras talks


Honduran President Manuel Zelaya today announced he will hold talks with his country's interim government in Costa Rica on Thursday.

Mr Zelaya said he accepted the mediation of Costa Rican President Oscar Arias to try to solve his country's political crisis.

"He [Arias] seems like the right person, accepted by all presidents," Mr Zelaya told Honduran radio, speaking from Washington after meeting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Mr Zelaya, a leftist toppled in a June 28th coup that has isolated the Central American state, met Ms Clinton in Washington.

Earlier today, the United States boosted the ousted leader when President Barack Obama called for his reinstatement.

In a speech during his visit to Russia, Mr Obama said: "America supports now the restoration of the democratically elected president of Honduras, even though he has strongly opposed American policies."

Mr Obama added: "We do so not because we agree with him. We do so because we respect the universal principle that people should choose their own leaders, whether they are leaders we agree with or not."

The United States had already condemned the coup in the impoverished coffee and textile exporting country. But Washington had until now let the Organization of American States take the lead in seeking a solution.

Mr Zelaya's leftist allies in the region led by Venezuelan socialist President Hugo Chavez, a longtime US adversary, have been the most vocal in demanding his return.

However, defying international pressure, caretaker President Roberto Micheletti, appointed by Honduran lawmakers after the coup, insisted the ousted leader was legally removed.

The interim government, which thwarted Mr Zelaya's attempt to return on Sunday by blocking his plane from landing, says the ouster was a constitutional transition carried out by the army and supported by the Supreme Court because Zelaya had illegally tried to organise a vote on changing presidential term limits.