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U.S., Soviet Officials Discuss Central America

October 30, 1987

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams is visiting London this week for meetings with Soviet officials on the situation in Central America and Cuba, administration sources said Thursday.

The meeting is one of a series the United States and the Soviet Union have had in recent years on regional trouble spots. Other areas which have come under discussion include southern Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan.

The officials, insisting on anonymity, said the London talks are limited to an exchange of views and are not negotiating sessions, consistent with previous meetings.

The two superpowers have sharply contrasting views on the nature of the conflicts in Central America. The United States has said the Soviet Union is attempting to establish a foothold in Nicaragua through large-scale arms shipments to the Sandinista government while Moscow has criticized U.S. support for the Contra rebels.

Abrams, the administration’s principal Latin American affairs expert, was accompanied by Kenneth Skoug, head of the State Department’s Cuban affairs office. The officials said Skoug is taking part in the talks because of the U.S. view that Cuba bears some responsibility for Central America’s turmoil by supporting the Sandinista government and leftist guerrillas in El Salvador.