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The World

February 19, 1988

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams has told Panama's president that indictments against strongman Manuel A. Noriega might be dropped if the general and his associates went into exile, according to a published report. The State Department confirmed that Abrams met with Panamanian President Eric A. Delvalle in Miami, where Delvalle was undergoing a medical checkup. But officials did not confirm reports that a deal was in the works to drop indictments against Noriega. However, the New York Times reported in today's editions that Abrams told Delvalle the State and Defense departments probably would be receptive to a dismissal of indictments if Noriega left Panama but that the Justice Department would oppose it.

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