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Nicaraguan President Begins Iran Visit --> Presidents Ortega (left) and Ahmadinejad in Tehran on June 10 (AFP) June 10, 2007 -- Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has begun talks with Iranian leaders in Tehran, where he launched a two-day visit.

Ortega was welcomed at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport by President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

Ortega said his visit is intended to "reinforce links" with Iran.

The official Iranian news agency IRNA reported that Ortega said countries in "the south" are at a historic crossroads that allows for greater unity.

Ahmadinejad visited Managua in January, shortly before Ortega's swearing-in as president.

The two leaders announced the restoration of full diplomatic relations and the reopening of embassies in each other's capitals.

Ortega was also expected to meet with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki, and members of the parliamentary leadership.

(compiled from agency reports)

The Iranian Economy

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