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Brazil's President Calls for Honduran Interim Government to Step Down


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Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva says Honduras's interim government is illegitimate and has called for it to step down.

Speaking to reporters in Stockholm, Sweden Tuesday, the Brazilian president said the crisis in Honduras would be solved if the leaders of the June 28 coup simply left office and returned democratically-elected president Manuel Zelaya to office.

Mr. da Silva was in the Swedish capital for a summit with European Union leaders.

Mr. Zelaya has been holed up in the Brazilian embassy since his surprise return to Honduras last month.

On Monday, interim Honduran President Roberto Micheletti lifted a week-old emergency decree that had restricted civil liberties. The revocation order was expected to take effect when published in the government's official gazette.

Mr. Micheletti has been under international pressure to restore the civil liberties and negotiate an end to the political crisis stemming from Mr. Zelaya's ouster in the June coup.

A mission from the Organization of American States arrives in Honduras Wednesday for meetings on the political crisis.

The United States and other nations have condemned Mr. Zelaya's overthrow. Washington also has revoked the visas of Honduran officials and cut aid to the Central American country. Many conservative U.S. lawmakers have criticized President Barack Obama's support of Mr. Zelaya.

The de facto government says Mr. Zelaya was ousted because he was trying to illegally change the constitution to extend his term in office.

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