Honduras` ousted president accepts exile deal

Last Updated: Sunday, January 24, 2010 - 12:29

Tegucigalpa: Ousted former president Manuel Zelaya said he would accept a deal for exile to the Dominican Republic that would ease a four-month diplomatic standoff.
Zelaya remains holed up in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, where he has been since his September 21 return to the country following his overthrow by a coup in June Last year.

He told radio station Globo on Saturday that he would depart on January 27 for the Dominican Republic, where President Leonel Fernandez would give him asylum following an agreement with Honduras` president-elect Porfirio Lobo Sosa.

Lobo and the new national legislature are to be sworn into office the same day.

Zelaya said he has been sleeping on a mattress on the floor in a small room of the embassy. He said he would leave as a private citizen, and return to the country "when there are fair and impartial judges" - an allusion to a possible amnesty from the new government.

Brazil had championed Zelaya`s failed efforts to be reinstated as president before the December elections. Relations with Honduras are severely strained over the diplomatic standoff.

Honduras was also expelled from the Organisation of American States after the June 28 coup, and subjected to economic sanctions.

IANS



First Published: Sunday, January 24, 2010 - 12:29
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