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In a positive sign for a peaceful settlement to the political crisis in Honduras, representatives for President Manuel Zelaya and the de facto regime led by former head of Congress Roberto Micheletti sat down for the first time in 3 months to discuss their demands and differences.
The meeting occurred as a result of the visit of a diplomatic delegation headed by Jose Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), that underscored the urgency seen throughout the hemisphere in ending the crisis.
Members of the delegation, drawn from diplomats representing Honduras' neighbors El Salvador and Guatemala and several other nations, said that despite the tensions that have grown since President Zelaya was removed from office and forced temporarily into exile, the tone of the meeting was positive and that direct dialogue has again been established.
The 2 sides remain divided over key points, but in agreeing to discuss the San Jose Accord that will allow President Zelaya to finish his term and set the stage for electing a new president in November, hope remains alive for a peaceful settlement that restores democracy in Honduras. The clock is ticking, however, and it is important that the talks continue.
A positive conclusion of the OAS-sponsored negotiations process would provide a sound basis for legitimate elections to proceed and be recognized by most of the international community. We strongly urge all parties to move expeditiously to agreement. The people of Honduras deserve nothing less.