80. Telegram From the Embassy in Panama to the Department of State and the White House1

5731. Pan Canal Negotiators’ Wrap-up. Ref: Pryce/Nadeau Telcon

1. Following a long hard afternoon’s bargaining, negotiations were successfully concluded approx 5:30 p.m. when the principal negotiators agreed on the final few points separating the U.S. and Panamanian sides and were thus able to reach agreement in principle on new treaty.

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2. After conclusion of the negotiations, U.S. chief negotiators, Ambs Bunker and Linowitz, joined with Chief Panamanian negotiator Romulo Escobar Bethancourt in a brief joint press conference. Amb Bunker read prepared text contained in State’s 189535.2 Escobar made short statement announcing agreement in principle and that further details will be made available following study by Chief of Government General Torrijos.

3. Following joint press conference Ambs Bunker, Linowitz and Jorden accompanied Panamanian negotiators on short cordial visit to Gen Torrijos who expressed satisfaction and pleasure at work they had accomplished.

4. Ambs Bunker, Linowitz and Gen Dolvin then held press backgrounder for U.S. media at Embassy residence. During backgrounder which began at 8:00 p.m. and lasted approx one hour Ambassadors drew heavily from conceptual framework paper which closely followed Canal Treaty Fact Sheet No. 2 contained State 6710.3 Press questions centered on defense topics.

5. Ambs Bunker and Linowitz plan to depart Panama 0830 local time via special AF aircraft and arrive Andrews Air Force Base at 14:40 Eastern Daylight Time.

  1. Source: Department of State, American Embassy Panama, Panama Canal Treaty Negotiation Files, Lot 81F1, 1964–1977, Box 127, POL 33.3.2. Confidential; Niact Immediate; Exdis. Copies were sent to the White House. Drafted by William T. Pryce (S/AB), cleared by Moss (S/AB) and Wyrough (ARA), and approved by Gonzalez.
  2. Telegram 189535 to Panama City, August 10, is in the National Archives, RG 59, Official and Personal Files of Ambassador at Large Ellsworth Bunker, Lot 78D300, Box 1, Negotiating Round 8/77–11/77. For the text of the announcement by Bunker and Linowitz, see the Department of State Bulletin, October 17, 1977, p. 482.
  3. Telegram 6710 was not found. In telegram 189639 to Panama City, August 11, the Department transmitted “Canal Treaty Factsheet No. 2,” and requested “comments, changes and clearances” from Bunker and Linowitz. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770288–0805)