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US Diplomat Meets with Nicaraguan President-Elect

A top U.S. official met with Nicaraguan President-elect Daniel Ortega Tuesday, hinting at a possible thaw in relations between the former Cold War enemies.

Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon held talks with Mr. Ortega in the capital city of Managua. Shannon says the two sides are engaging in dialogue aimed at improving relations.

The incoming president is returning to power 16 years after he was voted out of office. His Marxist policies had plunged Nicaragua into economic chaos. His Soviet-backed Sandinista government also fought a lengthy war against U.S.-backed Contra rebels.

But Mr. Ortega has openly disavowed his previous Marxist policies and has pledged not to meddle in the private sector.

The White House says U.S. support for the incoming president's administration would hinge on his commitment to democracy.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.