ATHENS, JULY 16 -- A dispute between U.S. and Greek authorities over charges that Greek officials had contacts with an Arab terrorist organization was settled today, a government spokesman said.

Sotiris Kostopoulos said the United States had sent a note on the matter that Athens regarded as "satisfactory."

The dispute erupted last month when U.S. Ambassador Robert V. Keeley presented a document to Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias alleging Greek contacts with the group of Palestinian guerrilla leader Abu Nidal.

Kostopoulos said the Greek ambassador in Washington, George Papoulias, was handed a letter yesterday from U.S. Undersecretary of State Michael H. Armacost.

"The content of the letter was judged to be satisfactory," Kostopoulos said. He said contacts were under way for a possible visit to Athens soon by Armacost.

Greece had insisted that Washington issue a written withdrawal of the charges before negotiations could start for a new agreement on American military bases in the country.

{In Washington, State Department spokesman Charles E. Redman declined to characterize Armacost's letter as a retraction of the U.S. charges on contacts with Abu Nidal. "If the Greek government chooses to release the letter, the text will speak for itself," Redman said.}

Washington Post staff writer John M. Goshko reported the following in Washington:

State Department sources said that Athens is cooperating quietly with planning for a visit there at the end of the month by Armacost. He is expected to leave here at the end of next week to visit India and Pakistan, and the department is hopeful that he then can go to Greece and Turkey during the week beginning July 27.

At issue will be renewal of the treaty covering several American installations in Greece, including four major naval and air bases vital to U.S. military activities in the Aegean Sea region. The present five-year treaty will expire in December 1988, and the United States wants to begin renewal talks this year to avoid bargaining close to the 1988 deadline, when nationalistic Greek pressures for dismantling the bases are likely to be most intense.

The U.S. officials said that although Armacost does not yet have a formal invitation, the department expects that he will be going to Athens for high-level talks.

The officials said the U.S. hope is that Armacost will be able to get an idea of whether the Greeks are willing to set a timetable for the base negotiations that were put on hold as a result of the latest flareup in Greek-American relations.

U.S. officials acknowledged that Washington had not expected such a vehement reaction from the Greeks over the Abu Nidal charges, because disagreements about how to deal with terrorists had become something of an old story in the troubled U.S. relationship with Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou.

The Reagan administration's belief that Papandreou has an overly permissive attitude toward states and organizations that have been involved in terrorism has caused frequent U.S. complaints in the past. However, Greece has been sensitive to such charges since a Trans World Airlines jet from Athens was hijacked by Arab gunmen in 1985.