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Nicaragua: New talks explored but opposition sets conditions

Nicaragua: New talks explored but opposition sets conditions

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Nicaragua says it has held talks on restarting a long-stalled dialogue following political violence that left more than 300 dead last year, but opposition groups and civil society are demanding a raft of preconditions.

They include the release of people considered "political prisoners," a halt to what they call "repression" of government opponents, guarantees for freedom of expression following the closure of media outlets critical of the government, and the disbanding of armed, pro-government militias.

The government announcement late Saturday said it has had an "exchange" with a group of private businesspeople in the presence of two Roman Catholic Church figures on resuming talks over matters important to Nicaragua.

Roman Catholic Cardinal said President Daniel Ortega and his powerful vice president and first lady, Rosario Murillo, participated in the talks.