WASHINGTON — Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega will come here later this month to address the Organization of American States and conduct a news conference, a Nicaraguan government spokesman announced Thursday.
In what will be only his second visit to Washington since the Sandinista revolution in 1979, Ortega will spend Sept. 28-30 in the capital, Sandinista spokesman Darryl Hunt said in a telephone interview from New York.
Ortega is expected to defend the government's posture in peace negotiations with the U.S.-backed Contras. The peace process has been stalled over a wide range of grievances, including Nicaragua's recent crackdown on internal opposition in the country.
No Direct Negotiations
Although the United States and Nicaragua have diplomatic relations, the Administration has refused to negotiate directly with the Sandinista government about the civil war, and no meetings between Administration officials and Ortega during his visit are likely.
A spokesman for House Speaker Jim Wright (D-Tex.) said that Ortega has not sought a meeting with Wright but that any request for one would be considered.
"The Speaker would not meet with Ortega just for the sake of a meeting," said Wilson Morris, Wright's foreign policy adviser. "If the Speaker believed it would advance a Central American peace, however, he would consider it."
On his previous visit to Washington, which took place last year, the Nicaraguan president discussed the peace plan for the region with Wright, who has taken an active role in the issue, and with the intermediary in the negotiations, Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo, the archbishop of Managua.
Will Attend U.N. Session
Before visiting Washington this time, Ortega will attend the United Nations General Assembly session in New York. He will speak Sept. 28, just two days after President Reagan addresses the international body, then travel to Washington that evening. He is scheduled to speak before the OAS assembly on Sept. 29 and plans a news conference Sept. 30 before returning to Nicaragua.
Ortega's visit to Washington comes at a time when relations between Nicaragua and the United States are particularly tense. Two months ago, the Sandinista regime expelled Richard Melton, U.S. ambassador to Nicaragua, and seven members of his staff, charging them with "activities complementary to the state terrorism the Administration of U.S. President Ronald Reagan is carrying out against Nicaragua."
The State Department retaliated the next day by expelling Nicaraguan Ambassador Carlos Tunnermann and seven of his aides. Since then, the two countries have refused to accept the diplomatic replacements each has submitted.
Ortega will spend four days in New York and is expected to make public appearances. In past visits there, he has toured the city and spoken to Latin communities.