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Zelaya, Lula ask for bigger US role
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Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday called on the United States to use more political influence to help solve the Honduran crisis.

Zelaya, who was in Brazil for a visit, called on the U.S. government to take more measures such as trade sanctions against the Honduran interim government. Seventy percent of the Honduran economy depends on the United States.

Reaffirmed his support for Zelaya's "immediate and unconditional" return to Honduras, Lula said he would talk to his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama on the issue at an appropriate time.

But there wasn't a date set for the conversation between the two leaders.

After the meeting, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celson Amorim told the press that Zelaya's return would largely depend on the position of the United States.

"President Lula said that clearly we are concerned by the delay (of Zelaya's return), because as time passes the possibility that President Zelaya's legitimate elections (scheduled for November) is weakening," Amorim said.

Zelaya was expected to end his term as president at year-end.

"This depends on what the United States will act," Amorim said.

"It must be a multilateral action. We believe that actions should be conducted by the OAS (Organization of American States)," he added.

Zelaya was deposed in a June 28 military coup. Following the coup, Brazil recalled its ambassador from Honduras and suspended cooperation with the Central American nation.

Zelaya arrived in Brasilia Tuesday and was welcomed by the Brazilian government with honors for a head of state.

He will leave Thursday morning for Chile to meet with President Michelle Bachelet.

(Xinhua News Agency August 13, 2009)

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