Honduran leader rejects unity government proposal

Honduran leader rejects unity government proposal

Honduras' ousted President Manuel Zelaya pauses during a news conference in Managua on Friday. AP

Asked about the idea of having Zelaya return to Honduras as president with a reconciliation government made up of representatives from all political parties, Assistant Foreign Minister Martha Lorena Alvarado gave a one-word response: "Impossible."

Her comment in Honduras' capital, Tegucigalpa, was the clearest indication yet that the US-backed talks mediated by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias to find a solution to the turmoil caused by a coup had reached a deadlock.

"The reinstatement of Zelaya, as we have maintained and now repeat, is not negotiable ... there is no possibility of him returning to Honduras as president," Alvarado said.

A Zelaya representative, Enrique Flores, earlier said his side had accepted Arias' plan "in principle" but added that the government led by interim president Roberto Micheletti was balking at the key point: allowing Zelaya's return to power. He said that would kill the negotiations.

"We will declare the talks a failure" if there is no progress in the final hours of negotiations on Saturday, Flores told The Associated Press. "If they don't accept the first point, the mediation has no purpose."

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