Peaceful resolution in Honduras

PEACEFUL RESOLUTION IN HONDURAS…. Matt Yglesias noted earlier that foreign policy achievements “have a way of not getting noticed if they don’t involve killing anyone with high explosives. This is too bad, since finding ways to resolve conflicts that don’t involve killing anyone with high explosives is generally preferable to approaches based on death and destruction.”

That’s a good point. And it’s a reminder that the Obama administration’s success in Honduras is laudable.

A lingering political crisis in Honduras seemed to be nearing an end on Friday after the de facto government agreed to a deal, pending legislative approval, that would allow Manuel Zelaya, the deposed president, to return to office.

The government of Roberto Micheletti, which had refused to let Mr. Zelaya return, signed an agreement with Mr. Zelaya’s negotiators late Thursday that would pave the way for the Honduran Congress to restore the ousted president and allow him to serve out the remaining three months of his term. If Congress agrees, control of the army would shift to the electoral court, and the presidential election set for Nov. 29 would be recognized by both sides. Neither Mr. Zelaya nor Mr. Micheletti will be candidates.

On Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called the deal “an historic agreement.”

“I cannot think of another example of a country in Latin America that, having suffered a rupture of its democratic and constitutional order, overcame such a crisis through negotiation and dialogue,” Mrs. Clinton said in Islamabad, where she has been meeting with Pakistani officials.

The Micheletti government wanted to wait until after a Nov. 29 election, but the U.S., the U.N., and the Organization of American States said the way to secure international recognition of those elections was to strike an agreement on the restoration of the constitutional order now. The Obama administration sent two diplomats to the country on Wednesday, who helped strike the deal.

Zelaya, under the agreement, will return to office in a power-sharing agreement until the end of his term in January. Tim Fernholz added, “While the White House’s domestic opposition will no doubt call this deal a sham or attack the president for helping restore a controversial leader to power, this outcome will likely improve inter-American relations, and that is a win for a relatively green foreign-policy team.”