TEGUCIGALPA - Honduras' de facto government will only allow ousted President Manuel Zelaya to leave the country if he signs a letter dropping his demand to be reinstated, the leftist said on Thursday.

Zelaya had planned to leave his refuge in the Brazilian Embassy on Wednesday night for Mexico, but the trip was aborted when he refused to go into exile on the government's terms because he wants the right to campaign for his return to power from abroad.

There was a letter that they wanted me to sign and I refused to sign it. It was to renounce the mandate which the people gave me to be president until January 27, Zelaya told Radio Globo, referring to the date at which his term was due to end before he was deposed in a June 28 coup.

The de fact government's foreign minister Carlos Lopez said Zelaya should respect a decision by Congress last week that ruled he could not come back to office.

There was an agreement ... he was going to respect the decision of the National Congress that confirmed the end of his mandate, Lopez told local television.

Brazil's Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said that it was unacceptable to impose conditions on Zelaya's departure and blamed the United States for being too tolerant of the de facto government.

Hondurans chose a new president, Porfirio Lobo, in elections on November 29, but many countries including regional power Brazil have yet to recognise the vote.

Lobo is to take power in January and wants a political amnesty for all those involved in the coup.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has praised president-elect Lobo for working to achieve national reconciliation and calling for the formation of a national unity government and a truth commission as agreed.
Soldiers grabbed Zelaya from his home in June and threw him out of the country in his pyjamas, sparking Central America's worst political crisis since the Cold War.

He sneaked back into Honduras to take refuge in the Brazilian Embassy in September and to conduct a campaign, often through the media, for his return to power.

Zelaya had upset Honduras' ruling elite by forging an alliance with leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and hinting that the wanted to change the constitution to allow presidential re-election.

(Editing by Anthony Boadle)