478. Message From President Carter to Sri Lankan President Jayewardene1

Dear Mr. President:

I would like to extend my personal welcome to you as you touch upon American soil. I hope that your brief visit in California will be a relaxing interlude between your labors at the Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Havana and your official visit to Japan.2

The United States believes that the Non-Aligned Movement can play a creative role in international affairs—if the Movement is not diverted from the path of genuine non-alignment. As your country has long been a spokesman of true non-alignment, I am glad that you decided personally to attend the recently concluded Summit in your role as outgoing Chairman, and as representative of your country.

Our countries share a common hope for a peaceful and orderly world. I know you are aware of the time and effort I and my government spent negotiating the SALT II agreement with the Soviet Union. I deeply believe that the limitations and reductions provided by the SALT II Treaty are of genuinely historic significance, and I am confident that this treaty will win the support of the United States Senate, as it has won the support of governments throughout the world.

I would like to compliment you on the innovations in economic and development policy undertaken in your two years as leader of Sri Lanka. Because your country is one of the few multi-party democracies in Asia, it is particularly gratifying to witness the substantial economic progress that has taken place in those years. I know that this progress [Page 1091] has resulted in an improving investment climate, which, I hope, will mean closer economic relations between our countries.

Finally, let me express my satisfaction with the excellent state of bilateral relations between our countries. On the basis of our mutual commitment to democratic institutions and the search for world peace, I am sure that our countries will continue to work together, bilaterally and internationally, in pursuit of these goals.


Jimmy Carter3
  1. Source: Department of State, Under Secretary for Political Affairs, David D. Newsom Subject Files, Lot 81D154, Box 19, Near Eastern and South Asia (Except Pakistan), 1978–1979. No classification marking. The message was sent to Jayewardene under a September 6 covering letter from Newsom. (Ibid.) Jayewardene visited Los Angeles September 7–9.
  2. In telegram 4526 from Colombo, August 30, the Embassy recommended sending Jayewardene a message from Carter: “It would be well received by him and I think beneficial for us. We have a number of indications that Jayewardene plans to play a more substantive role on behalf of the moderates at Havana than we had thought before. The degree of success he achieves notwithstanding, exposure to the realities and ramifications internationally of NAM deliberations may prompt President Jayewardene to take a greater interest in Sri Lanka’s foreign policy formulation in the post-Havana period. If this should turn out to be the case, we may find Sri Lanka more responsive to our positions on a number of important issues.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D790395–0770) The Havana Non-Aligned Movement Summit took place September 3–9.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.