270. Letter From President Carter to Members of the Supreme Governing Council of Ecuador1

Dear Members of the Supreme Council:

I would like to thank you personally for the warm and gracious hospitality which you, your wives, your government and the people of Ecuador gave Rosalynn during her visit to Quito.2 We considered the opportunity to discuss frankly and in depth our many common interests and concerns extremely useful.

Rosalynn has reported to me fully on the substance of your talks. I was especially pleased to hear that Ecuador will sign and ratify the American Convention on Human Rights, and would hope that Ecuador, from its well-known position as a champion of principle in international behavior, will continue to play a leading role in the effort to improve human rights. I know you will continue the active search for constructive ways to improve the human rights situation within our Hemisphere.

I also wish you well and will follow closely your plan for a return to civilian government during 1978. Rosalynn and I are impressed with your Government’s plans in this area, which are worthy of emulation by other nations.

As for your arms requests, I would like to assure you that we are studying them carefully in light of my administration’s new arms sales policy. We may not be able to respond fully and affirmatively on certain of your requests, but I would like to assure you that we will look thoroughly at each, and will consult with you in the near future about them.

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Rosalynn’s visit strengthened our awareness of potential security problems in the Andean subregion. We are actively searching for ways to reduce tensions in that area. I have instructed the Department of State to begin discussions in Washington with your government and with other parties concerned—and these have begun. We should pursue jointly every possible avenue to promote a reduction of intraregional tensions.

During her discussions in Lima with the Government of Peru, Rosalynn raised, with my full support, the subject of restraining arms acquisitions. She explained to the Peruvian Government our deep commitment to reducing tensions throughout the world, and pointed out that your concerns make it all the more desirable for Peru to demonstrate its peaceful intentions. She also mentioned your interest in further discussions with Peru about gaining access to the Amazon for your country.

We are also, of course, aware of your Government’s concern about Ecuador’s exclusion from the Generalized System of Preferences contained in the United States Trade Act. We are currently reviewing this question.

Again, my most sincere thanks for having made Rosalynn’s stay in Quito such a memorable event. I hope that both of our countries, and others as well, will benefit from the process we have begun to build toward a more peaceful future.


Jimmy Carter
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Country File, Box 5, Ecuador: President Alfredo Poveda Burbano, 4/77-5/79. No classification marking.
  2. See Document 268.
  3. Underneath his signature, Carter wrote: “p.s. Rosalynn sends her best wishes. J.C.”