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Progress Reported in Post-Coup Honduras Negotiations

Progress Reported in Post-Coup Honduras Negotiations

Progress Reported in Post-Coup Honduras Negotiations

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Negotiators for rival camps in Honduras' post-coup standoff are reporting significant progress.

Representatives for ousted President Manuel Zelaya and for the de facto leader Roberto Micheletti say they have managed to agree on 60 percent of the issues.

But one negotiator from the Zelaya camp, Juan Barahona, remained more pessimistic about the possibility of a negotiated resolution, saying the advances were not enough.

The two groups have yet to agree on the core issue of whether Mr. Zelaya will return to power ahead of the scheduled November 29 presidential election.

The negotiations center around the San Jose Accord, which calls for Mr. Zelaya's reinstatement until his term ends, as well as amnesty for him and the coup leaders. The de facto government previously rejected this plan.

Police used tear gas and a water cannon to chase away a group of more than 100 pro-Zelaya demonstrators from the hotel where the negotiations were taking place.

Mr. Zelaya was ousted in June in a military-backed coup under allegations that he was illegally trying to change the constitution to extend his term in office.

The reports of advances in negations come a day after a diplomatic delegation left Honduras without resolving the stalemate.

Envoys of the delegation, sponsored by the Organization of American States, met with representatives of both sides, as well as Mr. Micheletti. He criticized the diplomats for failing to understand why Mr. Zelaya was forcibly removed from office. Mr. Micheletti also criticized the suspension of aid to the Central American nation.

The international community has refused to recognize the interim government, and called for Mr. Zelaya to be reinstated with limited powers until a presidential election is held. Mr. Zelaya's group insists that elections scheduled for November 29 be delayed if he is not reinstated by then.

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