Representatives of ousted President Manuel Zelaya finally reached an agreement with the interim government that could help end the monthslong dispute over Honduras' June 28 coup, and possibly pave the way for Zelaya's reinstatement.
The Organization of American States announced the deal late Thursday but did not release a text of the accord, in which Zelaya appears to have agreed to throw his fate into the hands of a congress that has largely supported interim President Roberto Micheletti, The Associated Press reports.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed the "historic" agreement and praised both sides for seeking to resolve the political crisis peacefully.
"I cannot think of another example of a country in Latin America that having suffered a rupture of its democratic and constitutional order overcame such a crisis through negotiation and dialogue," Clinton, who is on a three-day visit to Pakistan, told reporters.
U.S. officials headed by the State Department’s top Latin America diplomat, Thomas Shannon, visited Honduras this week to jump-start the deadlocked talks, Bloomberg informs.
According to Mr. Micheletti, the accord reached late Thursday would establish a unity government and a verification commission to ensure that its conditions are carried out. It would also create a truth commission to investigate the events of the past few months.
The agreement also reportedly asks the international community to recognize the results of the elections and to lift any sanctions that were imposed after the coup.
The political crisis has created turmoil inside Honduras, where regular marches by Mr. Zelaya’s supporters and curfews have paralyzed the capital. The suspension of international aid has stalled badly needed projects in one of the region’s poorest countries.
Latin American governments had pressed the Obama administration to take a forceful approach to ending the political impasse, but Washington had let the Organization of American States take the lead and endorsed negotiations that were brokered by the Costa Rican president, Óscar Arias. But those talks stalled in July, New York Times informs.