277. Letter From President Carter to General Torrijos1

Dear General Torrijos:

One of my greatest satisfactions as President has been the successful conclusion of the Panama Canal Treaties and the establishment of a new relationship of friendship and cooperation between our two countries. I know that this new relationship could never have occurred without your personal dedication and untiring efforts to make the Treaties a reality. We can take justifiable pride in having shown how two nations can resolve their differences in a spirit of mutual respect and understanding. We can also be proud of the recent Declaration of Santa Marta,2 which describes the Treaties as an example of the capacity of two states to negotiate peaceful solutions to their problems. We join [Page 647] you in the hope that this spirit will continue to characterize our nations’ efforts to implement the Treaties in the years to come.

I shall always remember your generous hospitality, the spirit of your people, and the beauty of your country, which I so enjoyed during my visit to Panama in 1978.3 Our conversations then, as on your visits to Washington, were frank and helpful.

I wish you all success in your future efforts to improve regional and international cooperation and the peace and security of our hemisphere.


Jimmy Carter
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P810010–1527. Limited Official Use. Carter sent a similar January 13 letter to Royo thanking him for his friendship, cooperation, and support for U.S. positions on major international issues, including Iran and Afghanistan. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P810010–1532)
  2. In telegram 13385 from Bogotá, December 22, 1980, the Embassy reported on the Santa Marta Summit, which was held December 17–19, 1980, in Santa Marta, Colombia. The presidents of Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic and the Prime Minister of Spain attended and issued a general “Declaration of Santa Marta” favoring international peace, democratic process, and regional integration. The leaders also issued a declaration “calling upon Panama and the United States to abide by the letter and the spirit of the canal treaties.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D800606–1134)
  3. See Document 185.