The World : Panama Seeks Libya Loan

Panama, in a move likely to further sour relations with the United States, has asked Libyan ruler Moammar Kadafi for a package of loans and grants totaling $200 million, according to banking, government and diplomatic sources in the United States and Panama. They said Panamanian strongman Manuel A. Noriega sent a delegation to Libya last month to request the help because of a severe cash shortage. The shortage is caused in part by payments due on Christmas Club bank accounts and legally mandated Christmas bonuses. None of the sources could say whether Kadafi has agreed to give any money. Libyan officials at the United Nations refused comment, and the Panamanian Embassy in Washington did not return phone calls.

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