* Zelaya welcomes Dominican Republic offer to host him
* He tells radio station he could leave on Jan. 27
(Recasts with fresh Zelaya quotes)
TEGUCIGALPA Jan 20 Ousted Honduran President
Manuel Zelaya said on Wednesday he may leave the country under
an agreement with the newly elected president, bringing an end
to his state of political limbo after a June coup.
Zelaya, holed up in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa
since he slipped back into Honduras in September, said he
welcomed an offer to enter the Dominican Republic as an
"honored guest" from President Leonel Fernandez, who signed an
agreement with Honduran President-elect Porfirio Lobo.
"This agreement allows me to maintain my dignity and the
position bestowed on me by the people" of Honduras, Zelaya said
in a statement.
The accord, signed in Santo Domingo on Wednesday by Lobo,
Fernandez and representatives of Honduras' major political
parties, stipulates Zelaya, his family members and his circle
of advisers can enter the Dominican Republic on Jan. 27.
Lobo is set to take office on Jan. 27 after winning a
November election, which many nations denounced as illegitimate
because it was organized by the de facto government that
Zelaya told a local radio station he "could leave on the 27
when my mandate is over."
Soldiers whisked Zelaya out of his home at gunpoint in June
on an order from the Supreme Court after he angered the
country's business leaders and members of his own party with a
bid to change the constitution, which is illegal under Honduran
His critics accused him of trying to stay in office past
his term, following in the footsteps of Venezuela's socialist
President Hugo Chavez, a charge Zelaya denies.
Despite Zelaya's objections, there is a pending order for
his arrest in Honduras, which he skirted by seeking refuge in
the diplomatic grounds of the Brazilian embassy.
By leaving the country, he would avoid capture but
essentially end to his political career in Honduras.
(Reporting by Gustavo Palencia in Tegucigalpa and Manuel
Jimenez in Santo Domingo; writing by Mica Rosenberg; editing by