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April 21, 1988

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Diary Entry - 04/21/1988

Thursday, April 21, 1988

View the President's Schedule

A little review of yesterdays meetings with Burns, Weld & Ed M. Then the trade bill. Bob Michel got a rule passed that he could move to recommit the bill—to the Conference to see if under my threat of veto the Conf. would drop the proviso for plant closings.

Japanese internment bill passed in Sen. It was a $1.3 Bil. price tax. On I.N.F.—Howard B. had a call from Sen. Cranston—they are meeting this afternoon. The W.F. bill was passed out of committee.

N.S.C.—[. . .] Apparently the Soviets have already moved out.

Kozak our emissary to Panama reports that Noriega would step down if we lift Ec. sanctions immediately & if law limiting Mil. commander to 5 yrs. in office is made retroactive so it would apply to him. And he would live in Panama as a retired—former Commander.

Pakistan—the explosion of the ammo dump destroyed about $100 mil. of armaments. But now we know it wont affect the Mujahadin. All evidence now indicates it was an accident.

Panama—another one of those seeming invasions of our oil tank base—but again no casualties & the same temporary interference on our radar. No casualties.

Captors of Col. Higgens in Lebanon say they are going to put him on trial. V.P. suggests we remind U.N. he was there as part of the U.N. detachment.

We are engaged with Soviets in dividing line off Alaska in Bering sea. I sent memo to Geo. B. authorizing him to negotiate on this in Moscow.

Now it was time for signing ceremony, Memorandum of Agreement with Israel on our pledge of their security. A number of Israeli govt. rep’s. present. This is 40th anniversary of Israels independence.

A little later—a photo with a delegation of Soviet media & govt. people. They’ve been meeting with Charles Wick on better communication between our peoples.

And then it was off to Springfield Mass. A.F.1 landed at Westover A.F. base in Chicopee Mass. Lunch on plane. Then a 20 min. drive to Springfield Civic Center where I addressed World Affairs Council & took several questions from the audience. Everything went well. Then back to Wash. roughly around 4 P.M. & upstairs.

At 7:35 P.M. departed for Wash. Hilton Hotel & annual W.H. correspondents Dinner. But before that a call from John Negroponte on secure phone. Frank C. had notified him our forces in P. Gulf had discovered an Iran Supply ship which we believe has been used to lay mines. Frank wanted my permission to board the vessel. If any sign of mines remove crew & scuttle. If it refuses to halt & put’s up opposition sink it. I approved wholeheartedly. The dinner at the Wash. Hilton was as always, very pleasant & Yakoff Smyrnov who entertained was very funny as always.