The State Department on Wednesday rejected a call by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega for direct talks. "We are incredulous," said spokeswoman Phyllis Oakley, noting the recent strains in relations, including the mutual expulsion of eight diplomats from each country. She said the U.S. position on direct talks with the Sandinistas remains unchanged. "We will not enter into direct talks with the Sandinistas unless they are engaged in serious negotiations with the Nicaraguan resistance." Talks between the Sandinistas and Nicaraguan resistance broke down last month.