(Adds details, background)
WASHINGTON, July 1 Members of the Organization
of American States have decided to give the interim government
in Honduras 72 hours to reinstate democracy or face possible
suspension, OAS chief Jose Miguel Insulza said on Wednesday.
"Basically the decision is to condemn, very clearly, the
military coup" that ousted President Manuel Zelaya on Sunday,
Insulza told reporters after hours of talks at the OAS
He said the resolution being finished would demand Zelaya's
immediate reinstatement as Honduran president and charge
himself, Insulza, with taking the "diplomatic and political
steps necessary" to try and restore democracy in Honduras.
"If within 72 hours the reinstatement doesn't happen, the
assembly ... will meet again to suspend Honduras," Insulza
said. He said the 72 hours would expire sometime on Saturday.
Zelaya vowed on Tuesday to return to Honduras flanked by
foreign leaders to serve out his term, defying a warning from
the government that ousted him that he faces immediate arrest.
Addressing the United Nations before traveling to
Washington to meet OAS leaders, Zelaya said the Argentine and
Ecuadorean presidents and the U.N. General Assembly and OAS
chiefs would accompany him back to Honduras on Thursday.
Insulza told reporters that he was willing to go to
Honduras with Zelaya if Zelaya wished it. But the OAS chief
said he did not plan to meet members of a delegation that the
interim Honduran government said it was sending to Washington
The OAS began a special session late on Tuesday that
continued into Wednesday to debate its role in the Honduran
(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Eric Walsh)