34. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Panama1


For Jorden from Bunker. Subject: Next Negotiating Round.

1. This morning George Fisher contacted me by phone to say that Edwin Fabrega wished to talk with me and would appreciate a call. During a conversation later in the morning on a rather poor circuit Edwin asked when we wished to get together again for the next negotiating round. I replied that we were prepared, as we indicated during our luncheon two weeks ago,2 to meet at a convenient time and place to discuss all outstanding issues. I mentioned, however, that Ambassador Linowitz would be out of the country during the last week of April and that after I had talked with Sol I would get back in touch with Edwin later today.

2. Sol and I have discussed the situation and agree that the best date to resume the talks is sometime during the first week in May.

3. I have so advised Edwin and have indicated to him that we must decide later on the location of the May talks. I also repeated to him my earlier observation that we wish to take up all outstanding issues at the next round of talks. My intention here was to emphasize that, contrary to the suggestion made by Romulo and Edwin during our March discussions3 that they would be prepared to resume our discussions only after we had made a “political decision” regarding the lands and waters issue, there can be no repeat no preconditions from our viewpoint to scheduling the next round of negotiations. Indeed, our intention during the next round is to move forward with respect to any one issue only in the context of our ability to agree ad referendum on all repeat all outstanding issues.

4. In order to confirm my second conversation with Edwin, I would appreciate your contacting him as soon as possible and repeating to him orally the gist of the above, namely:

A. That we are prepared to commence a full round of negotiations sometime during the first week of May;4

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B. That we suggest deferring decision on the exact date and location of the meeting due to some unresolved questions concerning Sol’s freedom to be away from Washington during the first part of May; and

C. That it is our intention to discuss all repeat all unresolved major issues during the next round.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Official and Personal Files of Ambassador at Large Ellsworth Bunker, Lot 78D300, Box 1, May 1977 Round. Confidential; Immediate; Stadis. Drafted by Wyrough and approved by Bunker.
  2. No record of meeting minutes has been found.
  3. See Document 27.
  4. See Document 36.