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    Nicaraguan president backs Abkhazia, S.Ossetia, plans visit

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    Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said on Thursday that he entirely supported Russia's position on South Ossetia and Abkhazia and planned to visit the disputed Georgian republics in the near future.

    MOSCOW, December 18 (RIA Novosti) - Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said on Thursday that he entirely supported Russia's position on South Ossetia and Abkhazia and planned to visit the disputed Georgian republics in the near future.

    Ortega began an official visit to Moscow, his first for 23 years, on Thursday to discuss trade and economic issues as well as regional projects in Latin America with President Dmitry Medvedev.

    "We hail and support Russia's position on South Ossetia and Abkhazia," Ortega said during his talks with Medvedev. "In the near future we will visit these two countries, which have brotherly ties with our nation and government."

    Nicaragua is the only country to have followed Russia in recognizing the breakaway regions as independent states following the brief Russian-Georgian conflict in August.

    Ortega, 63, enjoyed Soviet support in the 1980s after his Sandinista National Liberation Front overthrew the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza in 1979. Ortega was elected president in 1985 and served until 1990. He returned to power after winning presidential elections in late 2006.

    The Kremlin has recently moved to rebuild old alliances with Cuba and Nicaragua and cultivate ties with new countries such as Venezuela as part of Russian efforts to expand its global influence.

    Ortega said he welcomed Russia's presence in Latin America, which "is making its own path" towards a multi-polar world.

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