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Honduras offers Zelaya safe passage
Incoming president says ousted leader can leave for Dominican Republic.
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2010 03:31 GMT
Lobo said 'we must all forgive ... in the interest of the Honduran people' [Reuters]

The incoming Honduran president has agreed to offer Manuel Zelaya, the ousted leader, safe passage to the Dominican Republic.

Porfirio Lobo said on Wednesday that Zelaya, who was deposed in a coup in June, would be allowed to leave Honduras as part of a settlement to the country's lengthy political crisis.

The deal will allow Zelaya, who has been holed up in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa since September, to leave Honduras without being arrested.

Under the agreement, Zelaya would fly to the Dominican Republic as a "guest" next week, the same day Lobo is inaugurated.

Lobo won controversial elections in November held under the interim government led by Roberto Micheletti.

"Zelaya, his relatives and members of his circle of advisers can leave for the Dominican Republic on January 27... as guests of that sister nation," Lobo said in a statement on Wednesday.

'Goodwill gesture'

Zelaya appeared to accept the move, calling it a 'goodwill gesture' [AFP]
Zelaya, who insists he remains the legitimate president, told the Globo radio network that the document "is a goodwill gesture by Porfirio Lobo" who is "distancing himself from the dictatorship" of Micheletti.

Rafael Nunez, a spokesman for Lobo, said the president-elect was confident that Honduras' political crisis would ease after his inauguration.

"We must all forgive. We strongly defend an amnesty for all, regardless of ideological differences we may have," Nunez quoted Lobo as saying. "It is in the interest of the Honduran people."

Dominican officials citing Leonel Fernandez, their president, said he was hopeful that Honduras would return to "peace, and to the civilised co-existence that is the basis of their progress, prosperity and the well-being of the population".

Source:
Agencies
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