222. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Nepal1

176191. Subject: Letter to the King of Nepal from President Carter.

1. Please deliver following message. Original being pouched.2 Begin quote: Your Majesty: I appreciate your cordial and candid letter about our shared goals and principles.3 Your government has tempered the law with compassion in a way that sets an example for all of us. As I mentioned in my last letter, we have no intention of interfering in the judicial processes of your country.4 The Government of the United States fully respects each nation’s right to guarantee fundamental rights and govern itself in accordance with its own traditions.

We hope that all countries of South Asia will continue to search for peace and stability. The area has, in the past few years, seen a perceptible reduction of tensions as nations have addressed controversial issues in a cooperative manner. Some countries of the region, [Page 553] however, have now expressed concern about the recent events in Afghanistan.5 I, too, am concerned about the trend of events and about Soviet intentions, with their possible effects on the stability of South Asia. We believe that the wisest course is to try to maintain links with the new Afghan regime; we have, therefore, indicated our willingness to work with the new government in support of Afghanistan’s independence. At the same time, we have stressed our support for regional stability and for the peaceful settlement of problems among neighboring countries. We will continue to watch the situation closely, and I will ask Ambassador Heck to keep you informed of our view of the situation. I would be grateful for any advice that you might care to offer.

Your government has made a significant contribution to regional cooperation, peace, and stability. The United States continues to be interested in your proposal for regional development of the waters of the eastern part of the sub-continent.6 I also welcome your decision to examine the potential for developing the Karnali River basin. We are prepared, if requested, to join with other nations to cooperate with Nepal and India on the studies required for this project.

My country remains committed to meeting the concerns you mentioned in your letter, namely, that the people of a nation receive a fair share of the fruits of development. Development should have a direct impact on the lives of the rural poor; this is the purpose of the Peace Corps and increasingly, of A.I.D. Our joint projects to limit the degradation of the environment and improve the lives of the people of the Rapati zone are one step in this direction. Moreover, the rural development programs on which we are cooperating should help offset the loss of income that some small farmers have felt since the enactment of Nepal’s beneficial narcotics legislation.

Thank you very much for your kind invitation to visit your country. Although that may not be possible in the near future, I hope that we may have an opportunity to meet each other at a mutually convenient time and place. In the meantime, Ambassador Heck is keeping me informed of your views. I deeply appreciate hearing from you directly. Sincerely, Jimmy Carter. End text.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780286–0497. Confidential; Immediate. Drafted by Percival; cleared by Miklos and Thornton; approved by Lande.
  2. No copy of the original was found.
  3. See Document 221.
  4. See Document 220.
  5. Reference is to the April military coup in Afghanistan. See Document 276.
  6. See footnote 4, Document 220.