251. Letter From President Carter to President Royo 1

Dear Mr. President:

Your decision to invite the Shah to Panama is a demonstration of the graciousness and the magnanimity of the people of Panama.2

The invitation to the Shah also demonstrates to the world that the relationship which our two countries developed during the negotiations for the Panama Canal Treaties is deep, genuine and mutually respectful. As Negotiator for Panama, you played a major role in forging our new relationship. As President of Panama, you have enriched that relationship greatly; it has become a model for industrialized and developing countries.

The United States has endured a terrible trauma during the last month while friends and colleagues have been held hostage in the United States Embassy in Iran. We hope that the Shah’s stay in Panama will facilitate a solution to the crisis.

I have been pleased to note the forthright position on the issue of the hostages taken by your government at the OAS and the UN. I am certain that my gratitude for your generosity and your assistance is shared by all the people of my country.


Jimmy Carter
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, President’s Correspondence with Foreign Leaders, Box 15, Panama: General Omar Torrijos Herrera, 8/78–12/79. No classification marking. Carter sent a similar letter to Torrijos dated December 18. (Ibid.)
  2. In telegram 323437 to Bern, December 15, the Department reported: “The Government of Panama announced today that in response to a long-standing invitation, the former shah will establish residence in that country.” (Department of State, S/S–1 Executive Secretariat, Information Management Section, David P. Newsom Files, Under Secretary for Political Affairs, 1978–1981, Lot 81D154, Box 7, The Shah December 1979 Volume IV)