Costa Rica to host dialogue
PANAMA. Panama offered to serve as a mediator and look for a way out of the crisis in Honduras that started on June 28, with the oustin...
PANAMA. Panama offered to serve as a mediator and look for a way out of the crisis in Honduras that started on June 28, with the ousting of Manuel Zelaya as president of the Central American country, yet it is Costa Rica’s president Oscar Arias’s offer to mediate that the de facto government of Honduras has accepted.
The vice-president and Foreign Affairs Minister, Juan Carlos Varela, said on Sunday that the mediation that Panama was offering would be through diplomatic channels “to avoid clashes” in Honduras.
He added that Panama’s president Ricardo Martinelli was in communication with his Costa Rican counterpart, to call for a dialogue among the involved parties.
The mediation process implies direct contact with the current leader of Honduras, Roberto Micheletti, who substituted Zelaya.
Governments around the world and international bodies like the Organization of American States have so far refused to have direct contact with Micheletti out of fear it would give his administration legitimacy.
The Honduras interim government gave hints Tuesday of a possible solution to the crisis, as Roberto Micheletti applauded the announcement that Costa Rican President Oscar Arias has agreed to mediate efforts to end the standoff.
Arias "is a man with a lot of credibility in the world," Micheletti told HRN radio. "We are open to dialogue. We want to be heard."
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that Arias would take part after she met privately in Washington with Zelaya.
Micheletti said he would send a delegation to Costa Rica — a reversal from past days, when he said he would not negotiate until "things are normal." Arias won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for efforts to help end Central America's civil wars.
Micheletti said the meeting “doesn't mean that Zelaya will be allowed to return.” But his tone was less belligerent than in recent days, when officials promised to arrest Zelaya on charges including treason as soon as he sets foot on Honduran soil.
Varela had offered all of Panama’s resources to open a dialogue between Zelaya supporters and the de facto government.
“We are providing our country, all of the government’s resources, all of the efforts of the Foreign Affairs Ministry and all of the current staff in the (Panama) embassy in Honduras and placing the staff at the chancellery at the disposition of both sides (Zelaya supporters and Micheletti supporters), if they are willing to accept this mediation,” said the head of Panamanian diplomacy on Sunday.