414. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • CIEC, LOS negotiations, Middle East, Treaty of Tlatelolco


  • Mexico
  • Santiago Roel, Secretary of Foreign Relations
  • Fernando Solana, Secretary of Commerce
  • Carlos Tello, Secretary for Programming and Budget
  • United States
  • The Secretary
  • Warren Christopher, Deputy Secretary of State
  • Terence A. Todman, Assistant Secretary (ARA)
  • Herbert B. Thompson, Charge de’Affaires, (notetaker)

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to the Treaty of Tlatelolco.]

Treaty of Tlatelolco

Now that the United States has signed the Protocol I of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, Mr. Todman asked what can be done to get others to sign the treaty. Secretary Roel said that Mexico must try to persuade others but cannot pressure them. He said Mexico has spoken to the Cubans and the Argentines. He thought the United States example would be very helpful in encouraging others to sign.2

Secretary Vance suggested that the U.S. signing would put some pressure on the Soviets, who have shown considerable sensitivity at our seizing the initiative in disarmament efforts. He suggested that if the Soviets were to sign Cuba might very well follow. Secretary Roel agreed.

Secretary Roel said that he had found this a very useful day and thought it a very important one, given the significant events which it had included. He noted that the events of the day revealed a marked improvement in U.S.—Mexican relations. He asked rhetorically why this should be so. Referring to his accompanying colleagues, he asserted that it is largely because Mexico now has a younger generation which is mature enough to speak plainly with its United States counter[Page 1049]parts and to operate on the basis of a psychological sense of equality. In any case, he said, he wanted to express his sincere appreciation for the day. He said he had telephoned President Lopez Portillo, who had expressed himself as very pleased with the visit and had sent his best regards.

Secretary Vance agreed that this had been a very important day. He said that the United States signing of the Treaty of Tlatelolco is of great significance. He said we are particularly grateful to the Foreign Secretary for his extraordinary kindness in going to the lengths of bringing the Treaty to Washington for us to sign. He reminded Secretary Roel that President Carter had already told him of his grati-tude.3 The luncheon concluded with mutual expressions of esteem and friendship.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P770115–2365. Confidential. Drafted by H.B. Thompson (ARA/MEX); cleared by H.B. Lane (ARA/MEX); and approved by William Twaddell (S) on June 23. The meeting was held in the James Madison Room at the Department of State.
  2. Carter signed Protocol I earlier that day. For the text of his statement see Public Papers: Carter, 1977, p. 1027.
  3. According to the President’s Daily Diary, Carter met with Secretary Roel from 1:00 to 1:03 p.m. on May 26. (Carter Library, Presidential Materials, President’s Daily Diary).