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US Envoys to Visit Honduras, Push for Crisis Resolution

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Senior U.S. officials are traveling to Honduras Wednesday to push for a resolution to the months-long political crisis over the June ouster of President Manuel Zelaya in a military-backed coup.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Tuesday that a delegation headed by Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon and the White House staff director for Latin America, Dan Restrepo, will head to Honduras.

They are expected to meet with both interim President Roberto Micheletti and Mr. Zelaya in Tegucigalpa, urging both sides in the crisis to show flexibility and redouble efforts to end the stalemate.

Kelly said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to both principals in the crisis Friday. He said the situation needs to be resolved quickly, in line with settlement guidelines put forth by the Organization of American States. Kelly said failure to do so could threaten the legitimacy of presidential elections planned for late November.

Last week, negotiators for Mr. Zelaya said talks with the Micheletti side had ended in failure. The interim government has so far refused a deal that would allow Mr. Zelaya to return to office and complete his term.

Since the June 28 coup, the Micheletti government has faced intense international pressure to restore Mr. Zelaya, who secretly returned to Honduras from exile in September and took refuge at the Brazilian embassy.

Mr. Zelaya's opponents have accused him of trying to illegally change the constitution to extend his term in office.