31. Letter From President Carter to Bangladeshi President Zia1

Dear Mr. President:

I was very pleased to learn of your government’s invitation to the Peace Corps to begin a program in Bangladesh.2

The next step is for the Peace Corps and your advisers to develop the kind of program that will be of most use to your country. We will take special care to make sure that the training program for the Volunteers provides them with extensive training in local languages, sensitivity to the culture of the people they will work with, and technical training designed specifically to meet the needs of the people of Bangladesh. I want this program to be of value to your country, and for Peace Corps Volunteers to perform at the highest possible standard.

My mother served as a Peace Corps Volunteer near Bombay, and her experience enriched our family’s life. So I am especially proud of the work of our Volunteers. Through individual service, they demonstrate in a personal way our commitment to the people of the world, and our desire to work with them in developing resources.

With best personal wishes.


Jimmy Carter
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, President’s Correspondence with Foreign Leaders File, Box 2, Bangladesh: President Ziaur Rahman, 4/77–12/80. No classification marking.
  2. In a November 17 telegram to Dacca, Mary King summarized the negotiations with the Bangladeshi Government to field Peace Corps volunteers in Bangladesh. After in-depth conversations between U.S. and Bangladeshi officials at the Geneva World Health Assembly in May, a formal Bangladeshi invitation was made to King on October 31. (Carter Library, Donated Material, Papers of Mary E. King, Box 13, Bangladesh)