Page last updated at 10:07 GMT, Saturday, 17 October 2009 11:07 UK

Honduras coup dialogue suspended

Manual Zelaya watches football in the Brazilian embassy, 16 Oct 2009
Zelaya continues to take refuge in the Brazilian embassy

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has suspended dialogue with the interim government.

Speaking from the Brazilian embassy in Honduras, Mr Zelaya said the proposal to allow legislators to vote on his future was "disrespectful".

But negotiators for interim President Roberto Micheletti said talks would continue regardless.

Mr Zelaya is insisting he be allowed to serve out his remaining weeks in office before elections on 29 November.

The interim government says the Supreme Court must decide.

Interim leader Roberto Micheletti says Mr Zelaya was legally removed from office as he had violated the Honduran constitution.

There had been talk of progress earlier in the week, but an initial deadline of Thursday set by Mr Zelaya passed without result.

Speaking from the capital Tegucigalpa, Mr Zelaya told Associated Press: "The dialogue is suspended. They say they will present something on Monday and if they do we will listen to it."

"But the dialogue is suspended due to this unilateral and practically disrespectful offer from them, which we consider to be just another mocking, dismissive act against the Honduran people and the international community," he added.

In a statement released later, Mr Zelaya urged Western Hemisphere countries to step up economic sanctions "against the de facto regime".

The United States and other countries have already suspended development aid to the impoverished Central American country.


Zelaya supporters hold protest in Tegucigalpa, 16 Oct 2009
Zelaya's supporters say he was removed in a coup

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.

On Friday, the nine members of the Alba group of South American countries said that economic sanctions against Honduras should be maintained.

The motion, agreed at a meeting in Bolivia, calls for economic and commercial measures as well restrictions on travel by members of the interim government.

Mr Zelaya slipped back into the country in September, and has been holed up in the Brazilian embassy ever since.

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