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Page last updated at 23:10 GMT, Wednesday, 14 October 2009 00:10 UK

Confusion over Honduras agreement

Manuel Zelaya on 12 October
Manuel Zelaya's term as president officially ends in January 2010

There is more confusion in Honduras over whether an agreement has been reached to solve the political crisis.

Negotiators for ousted President Manuel Zelaya said a "unified text" had been agreed that could lead to an "exit" from the crisis.

But representatives of interim leader Roberto Micheletti said no agreement had been reached on the key issue of a possible return to power for Mr Zelaya.

Talks are likely to resume again on Thursday in the capital Tegucigalpa.

Mr Zelaya was sent into exile in June, but has been inside Brazil's embassy since secretly returning in September.

He wants to be reinstated before 29 November elections, but the interim leaders have resisted his demands.

They say he was legally removed from office as he had violated the Honduran constitution.

Thursday deadline

Earlier, Mr Zelaya's lead negotiator Victor Meza said the two sides had "agreed on one unified text that will be discussed and analysed by President Zelaya and Mr Micheletti".

"I wouldn't talk of an end to the political crisis, but an exit, yes," Mr Meza was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying.

The army chief, Romeo Vasquez, also said progress had been made.

"I know that we have advanced significantly, we are almost at the end of this crisis," he told local radio HRN, Reuters reported.

But representatives of Mr Micheletti said that no agreement had been reached yet on restoring Mr Zelaya.

Mr Zelaya has set a deadline of Thursday for agreement to be reached.

"Elections without the reinstatement of the constitutional (elected) president would legitimise and authorise more coups in Honduras," he told the AFP news agency before negotiators announced a deal had been reached.

"Reinstatement after the fact (vote) is something we will not accept."

Mr Micheletti has repeatedly resisted calls for Mr Zelaya to be restored to office.

His position is that Mr Zelaya was removed according to the Honduran constitution, and that to reverse that decision would be illegal.

Disruption

Mr Zelaya was sent into exile on 28 June after trying to hold a vote on whether a constituent assembly should be set up to look at rewriting the constitution.

The vote was deemed in violation of the constitution by the Supreme Court.

Mr Zelaya's opponents accused him of trying to lift the current ban on presidential re-election to remain in office - a charge he has repeatedly denied.

Some commentators point out that a new constitution allowing presidential re-election was unlikely to have been ready before January 2010, when Mr Zelaya's term was due to end.

International sanctions against the interim government have cost Honduras, one of the region's poorest nations, millions of dollars.

Curfews and restrictions on civil liberties have also disrupted the lives of ordinary Hondurans over the past four months.



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