148. Letter From President Carter to Turkish Prime Minister Demirel1

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

Today’s signing of the Agreement on Security and Economic Cooperation marks an important milestone in the relations between the Republic of Turkey and the United States of America.2

For more than a generation the Turkish and American peoples have had a flourishing relationship as allies and as fellow members of the Atlantic community. Indeed, our friendship is older than NATO itself. That friendship is based on common democratic values, peaceful ideals, and strong cultural and humanitarian ties.

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The new agreement is a solemn commitment on the part of the United States to assist in strengthening the armed forces as well as the economy of the Turkish Republic. It recognizes Turkey’s crucial contribution to the Alliance, and addresses critical questions of defense and economic cooperation. It is my firm conviction that Turkey should be assisted in every feasible way, and I regard this effort as a high personal priority of my own.

In signing this agreement, we enable both our countries to face the future with confidence and to look forward to a new era of mutual endeavor, based on the trust that underlies the cooperation between sovereign states that are not only allies but friends.

It is my pleasure to send you this letter by the hand of James W. Spain, our new ambassador to your country. I am confident that he will represent us well and faithfully.

Jimmy Carter
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, President’s Correspondence with Foreign Leaders File, Box 19, Turkey: Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel, 2/77–4/80. No classification marking. Henze forwarded a draft in a February 20 memorandum to Brzezinski and reported that the letter “represents the final step in the process of completing our new Defense Cooperation Agreement with Turkey.” (Ibid.) In the upper right corner of the letter, an unknown hand wrote: “orig. picked up by Lois Bozilov (EUR/SE) 2–21–80 10:45 a.m.”
  2. See footnote 8, Document 147.