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OAS Mission to Honduras Fails to Break Deadlock

A delegation from the Organization of American States has ended a two-day mission to Honduras without negotiating an end to the political impasse over President Manuel Zelaya's ouster in June.

The OAS issued a statement Tuesday saying the delegation failed to persuade the caretaker government to accept a Costa Rica-brokered plan that would bring back the deposed president. Foreign ministers from seven OAS member states traveled to Honduras, accompanied by Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza.

Interim Honduran President Roberto Micheletti said he does not fear international sanctions aimed at restoring Mr. Zelaya to the presidency. Mr. Micheletti said his government is not afraid of an embargo by anyone and that Honduras can get by without international support.

Earlier, the U.S. State Department said it is temporarily suspending some visa services in Honduras as part of its review of policy toward the caretaker government.

Spokesman Ian Kelly says starting Wednesday, officials will stop granting visas at the U.S. embassy in Honduras except for potential immigrants and emergency cases, because of the interim government's refusal to bring back Mr. Zelaya.

The State Department says the United States considers the deal, sponsored by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, the best solution to Honduras's political crisis.

The caretaker government refuses any proposal allowing the return of Mr. Zelaya, who was deposed in a June 28 military-backed coup. Interim leaders say Mr. Zelaya was ousted because he was trying to change the constitution illegally to extend his term in office.

Mr. Micheletti says Honduras will hold elections in November, even if other countries do not recognize the result.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch says a recent report regarding widespread abuses in Honduras should compel the international community to take steps to resolve the political crisis. It says these could include imposing targeted sanctions.

The human rights organization was referring to the report by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which accuses the interim government of using excessive force and arbitrary detentions to contain pro-Zelaya demonstrations.

The commission is an autonomous body of the OAS.

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