Clinton expected to meet Zelaya, U.S. official says

The ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya (C) speaks to the media next to Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (L) during a news conference outside the Ecuadorean embassy in Washington July 5, 2009. REUTERS/Ecuador Presidency/Handout

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to meet ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya in Washington on Tuesday, a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity said on Monday.

The official provided no other details.

Such a meeting would be significant gesture of support for Zelaya, who was pushed out of office by troops and flown into exile in Costa Rica on June 28 in a coup largely triggered by a dispute over presidential term limits.

Separately, U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly reiterated the U.S. call for Zelaya to be restored to power.

“Our goal remains the restoration of ... the democratic order in Honduras, and we renew our call on all political and social actors in Honduras to find a peaceful solution to this crisis,” he told reporters.

Asked what restoring the democratic order meant, Kelly replied: “it means the return of the democratically elected president to Tegucigalpa, the return of Mel Zelaya.”