73. Memorandum From Acting Secretary of State Christopher to President Carter 1

[Omitted here is information unrelated to Panama.]

Panama. Ambassadors Bunker and Linowitz today outlined the economic package to Panamanian Minister for Planning and Development Barletta, emphasizing that we consider this package to be as far as we can go. Further talks are planned to explain to Barletta certain aspects of the Canal’s financial operations. He clearly feels that more money is available for the annuity than we are prepared to offer. Notably, however, the Panamanians are no longer talking about a $460 million lump sum payment and a $150 million annuity.

The August 5 meeting of several Latin American Chiefs of State, called for by Torrijos, is going ahead as planned. We have provided several of our embassies with additional material on the negotiations so that they can brief host governments prior to the meeting. Mexican Foreign Minister Roel, whom we briefed yesterday, has said he will be helpful to us.2

[Omitted here is information unrelated to Panama.]

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 18, Evening Reports (State), 8/77. Secret. Carter initialed the top of the memorandum and wrote: “[name not declassified],” next to his initials.
  2. Carter wrote: “Let’s do the same with others” in the left margin. On the day of the meeting, Carter sent the following message to the six Latin American presidents attending the meeting: “I extend to you my good wishes and my warm appreciation for your help and cooperation in helping us find a mutually agreeable basis for a new Panama Canal treaty in which we can all take pride.” (Telegram 184493 to Bogotá, August 5; National Archives, RG 59, Official and Personal Files of Ambassador at Large Ellsworth Bunker, Lot 78D300, Box 1, Negotiating Round, 8/7–11/77)