164. Letter From President Carter to Brazilian President Geisel1

Dear Mr. President:

I was glad to get your letter of March 9.2 I think it is a good sign that, so early in my term in office, we have begun a frank exchange on important issues. I am sure that we can expand this exchange as other questions arise which require our attention.

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Several years ago, after my visit to Brazil,3 I brought back a vivid impression of your country’s dynamism, and its determination to make the most of its vast potential. Since that time I have been convinced that our two nations must maintain a close and cooperative relationship—one based on mutual respect and mutual recognition of the important role each of us must play in an interdependent world.

The frank talks that Deputy Secretary Christopher and Foreign Minister Silveira had on March 1 were, I believe, another helpful step in our relationship.4 They identified the concerns that both our nations share, and they clarified the areas where we differ on nonproliferation issues.

We recognize how important these questions are for Brazil. The proposals we have made to your Government represent our serious and sincere effort to take into account your need for expanded and secure energy resources. They also represent an attempt to help develop a new global framework that will preserve the distinction between peaceful and nonpeaceful uses of the atom. I know that you share this goal, and I hope that our temporary differences will not prevent you from joining us to find mutually acceptable solutions.

The interests which link us are already substantial, and every day we discover new areas where we must work together for our mutual benefit. We have had disagreements in the past, and we will have them again. But I am confident that we can deal successfully with our differences and leave our basic relationship as firm and healthy as it is today.5

With that goal in mind, I will continue to follow closely the significant issues which concern both our countries.


Jimmy Carter
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Brzezinski Office File, Country Chron, Box 5, Brazil, 1-8/77. No classification marking.
  2. A translation of this letter is in the Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Brzezinski Office File, Country Chron, Box 5, Brazil, 1-8/77.
  3. Carter visited Brazil in April 1972. (Bourne, Jimmy Carter, p. 239)
  4. See footnote 7, Document 163.
  5. [Less than 1 line not declassified] as a result of Carter’s letter “key officials of the Brazilian government, including Geisel, believe the U.S. is sincerely interested in serious dialogue and a joint examination of problems which are causing irritation between the two countries.” Additionally, “[less than 1 line not declassified], as a result of the letter, Brazil will seek ways to improve the dialogue with the U.S.” ([document number not declassified]; Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, North/South, Pastor, Country Files, Box 3, Brazil, 4-5/77)