Secretary Blinken speaks with President Carter

F.P. report

WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with former President Jimmy Carter on Friday about the deteriorating situation in Nicaragua.

They discussed U.S. concerns about the recent arrests, harassment, and arbitrary restrictions placed on presidential candidates, political parties, and independent media in Nicaragua, as well as the need for broad electoral reform to permit free and fair elections in November.

They welcomed the strong June 15 vote at the Organization of American States Permanent Council, which sent a clear message that Ortega and Murillo’s actions are unacceptable.

Secretary Blinken thanked President Carter for his efforts to promote democracy and human rights throughout the world, including in Nicaragua.