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Zelaya met US officials at OAS : US government

By French Press Agency (AFP)

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya met senior US officials on the sidelines of an Organization of American States meeting, on the eve of his departure Wednesday for Panama, US officials said.

The White House and the State Department said that the deposed leader met late Tuesday with Tom Shannon, US assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs and Dan Restrepo, the top Latin America advisor on the national security council.

"Shannon reiterated the US commitment to seeing a return to the constitutional order in Honduras," a US official said, of the meeting on the fringes of the OAS in Washington.

At the White House, spokesman Robert Gibbs noted the 72-hour deadline imposed by the OAS for Zelaya's reinstatement following a coup on Sunday.

"We continue to monitor the situation and we will respond accordingly as events transpire. We are watching closely what is going in."

The OAS in a communique Wednesday said Honduras faced suspension from the organization if it did not return Zelaya to power, in one of several moves by foreign governments and organizations ratcheting up pressure on the country.

The Pentagon on Wednesday suspended all military activities with Tegucigalpa until further notice.

Zelaya on Wednesday arrived in Panama for the inauguration of conservative millionaire Ricardo Martinelli as the country's new president.

Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved

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