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Ousted Honduran President Plans Next Step After Failed Return


Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya is planning his next step, after the military prevented him from landing in his own country late Sunday.

After the aborted attempt to return, Mr. Zelaya flew to El Salvador where he met with Latin American allies, including the presidents of Argentina, Ecuador and Paraguay, as well as the secretary-general of the Organization of American States. The ousted president announced plans to fly to Nicaragua.

OAS chief Jose Miguel Insulza said he is open to all appropriate diplomatic steps to see Mr. Zelaya re-instated.

On Sunday, military vehicles prevented Mr. Zelaya's plane from landing in the Honduran capital. Soldiers and thousands of Mr. Zelaya's supporters clashed at the international airport in Tegucigalpa, and at least one demonstrator was killed.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Monday said authorities in Honduras must not threaten the Honduran people and must allow them to express their opinions. He emphasized that the coup was unacceptable.

President Zelaya told Telesur television late Sunday he will try again to return to Honduras as soon as possible.

Mr. Zelaya's plane was attempting to land despite a warning from the interim government that the ousted president would be arrested if he touched down on Honduran soil.

Earlier, members of the Honduran interim government told the Organization of American States they are ready to start a dialogue. The OAS voted unanimously Saturday to suspend Honduras for failing to reinstate Mr. Zelaya.

This is the first time the OAS has suspended a member since Cuba was excluded from the group in 1962.

Soldiers forcibly expelled the president from Honduras eight days ago. He was arrested the same day he planned to hold a referendum on a constitutional change that would have allowed him to seek another term. The Supreme Court had ruled the referendum was illegal.

Authorities in the interim government accuse him of treason and abuse of power.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.


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