Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher rebuffed Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega at their first official meeting, refusing to use her influence with President Bush to reduce U.S. opposition to the Sandinista government.

Thatcher told Ortega during a 75-minute meeting Monday that Nicaragua has not adequately promoted democracy and accused his government of destabilizing Central America, a spokesman for Thatcher said.Ortega, on a nine-nation European tour, made his first official visit to London since the Sandinista National Liberation Front overthrew President Anastasio Somoza in 1979.

Nicaragua had asked Britain to use its influence with the United States to appeal for change in attitude toward the Nicaraguan government. A peace plan, promoted by several Central American countries, discourages support for the U.S.-backed Contra rebels in return for Nicaraguan reforms promoting democracy.

But a spokesman for Thatcher said she told Ortega during their "very frank" discussions that to win Britain's cooperation Nicaragua must make more democratic reforms.