PARIS -- Nicaraguan leader Daniel Ortega met with President Francois Mitterrand Monday and asked France to help his government fight the Reagan administration's trade embargo against Nicaragua.
Ortega spoke with Mitterrand at the presidential Elysee Palace after arriving in Paris from Madrid and later addressed a street demonstration organized by the French Communist Party.
The Nicaraguan leader was greeted outside a Latin American cultural center by some 1,500 demonstrators, who waved banners saying 'No to U.S. Blockade' and chanted 'Nicaragua si, Yankees no.'
'We asked Mitterrand for action in relation to the U.S. blockade of Nicaragua,' Ortega told the crowd.
Inside the center, Ortega told a news conference that 'France has the will to aid us' politically and economically, but he refused to disclose whether Mitterrand had agreed to provide assistance.
Ortega said the U.S. embargo has left Nicaragua without spare parts for 'our thousands of American farm machines and transport,' adding it 'will do much harm to the Nicaraguan economy' even though other needs such as medicine could be purchased elsewhere.
Ortega said he 'absolutely had not demanded' that Nicaragua be allowed to purchase French weapons.
Michel Vauzelle, Mitterrand's spokesman, said the president 'showed the cordial attitude of France' towards Nicaragua in his meeting with Ortega.
Vauzelle added that 'one can develop trade' but did not elaborate on whether specific pledges of support had been made to the Nicaraguan leader.
France has objected to the U.S. trade embargo against Nicaragua, saying it opposes 'any form of economic or military pressure in the search for peace in Central America.'
Ortega flew to Madrid Saturday after touring eastern Europe for 12 days seeking support to fight the U.S. trade ban on Nicaragua imposed May 1 by President Reagan, who views the country as a focal point for Soviet and Cuban expansion in Latin America.
Reagan announced the boycott the day after Ortega receive a pledge of economic assistance frnm Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev during a visit to Moscow, the first stop of his trip.
The move also came a week after the House rejected Reagan's request for $14 million in support for the Contra rebels fighting to topple the Marxist-led Sandinista government of Managua.
In an interview published in Madrid Monday, Ortega said he had not discussed military aid with Soviet leaders, telling the El Pais newspaper, 'Our dealings were basically of a political and economic type.'
He said he had received pledges 'to increase cooperation to help Nicaragua face its growing difficulties.'
Ortega was to leave for Rome Tuesday.