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UN General Assembly President Predicts Early Resolution to Honduran Crisis

The President of the U.N. General Assembly, Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, says he believes a deal is near to restore ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya to office in the coming days. Mr. Zelaya was forced out in a military coup on June 28.

The U.N. General Assembly president spoke to reporters Friday, days after returning from accompanying President Zelaya on an aborted trip to Honduras. Thousands of Mr. Zelaya's supporters showed up at the Tegucigalpa airport on Sunday to greet him, but authorities did not permit his private plane to land.

Mr. D'Escoto, a former Nicaraguan foreign minister, said nothing short of Mr. Zelaya's "total return to the presidency for which he was elected" would be an acceptable outcome. "I have a feeling that we are moving in that direction very quickly. That's as much as I can say now. Maybe I will be proven wrong, but I hope not," he said.

Asked what his expectations were based on, Mr.D'Escoto said it was not "wishful thinking" or a "hunch", but rather based on conversations. He did not name the people he had spoken with, but he has been very active on behalf of Mr. Zelaya, inviting him to the U.N. General Assembly at the end of June to state his case before member states.

The 192-member body then adopted a resolution condeming his ouster and saying they would recognize no other government in Honduras than his.

Mr. D'Escoto said he believes a resolution would come quickly. "I feel personally confident that a solution will be arrived at soon. ... And soon means very few days. A week is soon. But I believe sooner," he said.

Asked if early elections might be part of any deal that would return Mr. Zelaya to office, Mr. D'Escoto said that he must stay in office for his entire term, which ends in January. "If you are going to talk about early things, it should be the incarceration of those who perpetrated such a crime," he said.

Mr. D'Escoto's optimism for an early deal seems to be in contrast with Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, who is the chief mediator between Mr. Zelaya's side and that of his replacement, interim President Roberto Micheletti.

President Arias has been quoted as saying negotiations "could possibly take longer than one might have imagined."