Daniel Ortega, leader of Nicaragua's Marxist governing junta, arrived in Paris on July 12 for a three-day visit to France.
GV PAN Military guards on duty at Elysee Palace
SV President Mitterrand (on right) greets Daniel Ortega (on left). Ortega gets into car
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Background: Daniel Ortega, leader of Nicaragua's Marxist governing junta, arrived in Paris on July 12 for a three-day visit to France. During the day, he met President Francois Mitterrand at the Elysee Palace. He was also to have talks with Prime Minister Pierre Mauroy and Foreign Minister Claude Cheysson. Unlike most western states, France has sought close links with Mr. Ortega's government, arguing that friendship is the way to keep is away from Soviet influence. France has agreed to sell to Nicaragua arms worth 18 million dollars. This deal has been heavily criticised by the United States. Mr. Ortega was thought likely to discuss implementation of the deal during his trip. The agreement covers helicopters, rocket launchers, and ground-to-air missiles, and two missile-launching patrol boats. France has provided credits worth 17 million dollars for economic projects in the country.