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Caracas, Venezuela Joint Communiqué Issued at the Conclusion of Meetings Between President Carter and President Perez.

March 29, 1978

The President of the United States of America and Mrs. Jimmy Carter visited Caracas March 28-29, 1978, at the invitation of President Carlos Andres Perez. The President and Mrs. Carter were accompanied by the Secretary of State and Mrs. Cyrus Vance, Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Assistant Secretary .of State for Inter-American Affairs Terence A. Todman, and Director of Policy Planning for the Department of State W. Anthony Lake.

The visit reflected the close relations between Venezuela and the United States and served to continue their dialogue initiated in 1977 on the occasion of the visits which the Venezuelan President made to Washington.

The two Presidents reaffirmed their commitment to the preservation and strengthening of democracy and placed particular emphasis on the importance of human rights as a duty of all societies and their commitment to the charters of the Organization of American States and the United Nations. Both Presidents expressed the hope that the American Convention on Human Rights will soon enter into force and manifested their Governments' interest in seeing both the autonomy and resources of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission increased, agreeing in their belief that the Commission has an essential role to play in the effective promotion of Human Rights in the Hemisphere.

The Presidents discussed the ratification of the Panama Canal treaties signed at the OAS Headquarters in Washington by the President of the United States of America and the Head of Government of Panama which is now being considered by the Senate of the United States of America. They expressed the hope that the process will be successfully concluded to strengthen a new spirit of cooperation in the relations between the United States of America and the Peoples of Latin America.

The Heads of State examined the present state of the world economy, including the prospects for international cooperation on the issues of development, trade, basic commodities, energy, the effects of inflation and the international monetary system.

Both Presidents agree on the need for an international code of conduct relating to the activities of transnational corporations. They condemned the practice of bribes and illicit payments and called for support of an international convention on illicit payments.

The Presidents reaffirmed the importance and the utility of additional consultations within the context of the North-South dialogue within the United Nations and other world organizations. They agreed on the importance of early implementation of the commitments made at the Conference of International Economic Cooperation, in which Venezuela played a leading role. Both Presidents expressed their support for a more just and equitable international system, with both developed and developing countries sharing responsibility for it.

The Presidents examined the world's political situation and condemned the presence .of foreign forces in Africa. They reiterated their condemnation of apartheid as an unacceptable negation of human rights. They expressed their total support for the independence of Zimbabwe in accordance with norms of the United Nations and for the independence of Namibia within the framework of United Nations Resolution 385.

The Presidents exchanged views concerning the situation in the Middle East and deplored the recent violence which occurred in that area. They agreed that it is necessary and urgent to intensify efforts to achieve a just, comprehensive and durable peace based on UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338. They stressed the importance of withdrawal on all fronts pursuant to Resolution 242 and the resolution of all aspects of the Palestinian question.

They noted their meeting coincided with the opening of the Seventh Session of the United Nations Conference on Law of the Sea, which held its first substantive meeting in Caracas four years ago. They agreed that it is essential that the conference reach agreements which are just and fair for all countries.

The two Presidents dedicated an important portion of their time to the consideration of the idea already agreed to in Washington in 1977 concerning the development program for the Caribbean basin. They examined the role played in the preliminary studies by the World Bank as well as by other international institutions. Even as they manifested their satisfaction with the process already under way, they agreed that it is urgent to bring this idea to fruition and to promote cooperation between the countries of that area and the rest of Latin America in such a way as to help the states of the Caribbean in their effort for a viable development which satisfies their own aspirations.

The themes concerning Latin American economic integration were the object of particular attention. The Presidents examined the progress of the Andean Pact, its important program agreements signed in 1977, the functioning of LAFTA and the progress of SELA. Both Presidents recognized the important cooperative effort of the countries of the area reflected in the different programs of regional integration and manifested their sympathy and support for these programs.

With relation to nuclear non-proliferation the two Presidents took note of the necessity for implementing greater safeguards and making greater use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes once the risks, not yet resolved, are taken care of. The Presidents gave special importance to the entry into force of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, and noted with satisfaction the progress in the International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Evaluation.

The Presidents exchanged ideas about arms restraint in Latin America. They expressed their disquiet with growing arms purchases and in the resurgence of old conflicts. They agreed that it is urgent to restrict the transfer of conventional weapons as was envisaged in the 1974 Ayacucho Declaration.

They discussed the United Nations Special Session on Disarmament and agreed that the Session should provide a stimulus to further concrete disarmament efforts.

Insofar as bilateral matters are concerned they confirmed the importance of cooperation in the field of energy and the continuing participation of Venezuelan petroleum exports in the United States market. They considered useful the results of the meeting held at the beginning of March between the Venezuelan Minister of Mines and Energy and the U.S. Secretary of Energy pointing out the possibility of cooperation for the development of heavy crudes. The two Presidents reaffirmed their desire to continue consultations both at the technical level and at the political level on energy matters as well as to establish periodic consultations on economic and commercial matters.

The two Presidents took note with satisfaction of the signature during the visit of the Treaty on Maritime Boundaries between the two countries and a Memorandum of Understanding on Narcotics and of the prospects of negotiating other agreements, reflecting the spirit of cooperation existing between the two countries.

The two Chiefs of State expressed their complete personal satisfaction with the results of their conversations and took note that this state visit, the third meeting between them during the last year, was a demonstration of their interest in continuing their consultations on world matters of importance to the two countries.

Upon ending his stay in Venezuela, President and Mrs. Carter thanked President Perez for the cordial hospitality offered them and their official party by the Venezuelan people and government.

Note: The text of the joint communiqué was released at Caracas, Venezuela.

Jimmy Carter, Caracas, Venezuela Joint Communiqué Issued at the Conclusion of Meetings Between President Carter and President Perez. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/244754

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