Hopes for a quick resolution to the post-coup leadership crisis in Honduras have dimmed, with the two rivals fighting over the presidency refusing to meet.

The sides emerged from talks in Costa Rica showing no signs of budging from hard-line positions.

Negotiating teams huddled behind closed doors again in the Costa Rican capital yesterday, but the head of the Organisation of American States (OAS) said there was a "lack of willingness to discuss things".

The chief mediator, Costa Rica's president Oscar Arias, was equally glum, saying: "We have no illusions. This may take longer than we imagined."

Arias hosted separate meetings last Thursday with the ousted Honduran leader Manuel Zelaya and Roberto Micheletti, the man who replaced him after the 28 June coup.

Arias, who won the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for helping Central Americans resolve their civil wars, had hoped to bring the rivals together for their first meeting since the coup, but that was not to be. "Each one put as a condition that the other not be there; that it wasn't the moment to meet," said the Costa Rica information minister.

Both Zelaya and Micheletti left Costa Rica after meetings with the mediator, leaving low-level teams to continue the discussions.

The coup crisis has become one of the biggest tests so far for the Obama administration in Latin America.