Mel Zelaya will soon be talking to Secretary Clinton and other State Department officials. Yesterday's background briefing is interesting for its utter lack of platitudes or vague pronouncements.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Well, we can’t address what else a de facto government might want to talk about since we’ve only received indications that they’re prepared to begin a process. So we’re going to have to wait and see what it is they want to talk about. But we and all the other members of the OAS have made clear that we’re looking for full restoration of democratic and constitutional order. And that would mean allowing President Zelaya to fulfill his mandate, which ends in January of 2010.
QUESTION: But you don’t rule out any different scenarios from Zelaya returning to power until January?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Well, I mean, I think that what we’ve said is pretty clear. And again, we don’t want to be drawn into negotiations before negotiations have even started. That would be a big mistake. So, I mean, I would stick to what I said earlier, which is that full restoration of democratic and constitutional order means allowing President Zelaya to return to Honduras and fulfill his mandate as the legal and constitutional president of Honduras.
The only wiggle room I could possibly see is if elections were moved forward, but Zelaya was restored as president until they occurred (which could technically "fulfill his mandate"). But, of course, Micheletti has said that is a non-starter.