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Joint Statement Following Informal Discussions With President Diaz Ordaz of Mexico.

April 15, 1966

PRESIDENT Gustavo Diaz Ordaz and President Lyndon B. Johnson were greatly pleased that the occasion of the unveiling of a statue of Abraham Lincoln provided an opportunity to renew their cordial personal relationship and to resume their informal conversations begun during their meeting in November 1964.

The two Chiefs of State, conscious of the significance of the principles for which Benito Juarez and Abraham Lincoln both fought, have reiterated in their respective nations their adherence to freedom, human dignity, and a mutual respect among peoples. These principles are the basis of democratic life. The Presidents expressed their conviction that these also constitute the foundation of the firm friendship between Mexico and the United States. The two Presidents recognized with pleasure the high level of understanding reached in the relations between their two countries in recent years.

President Diaz Ordaz reaffirmed to President Johnson the principles of the foreign policy of Mexico, in relation with the other American Republics, which, in addition to the fundamental principles of self-determination, non-intervention, and peaceful solution of controversies, include the need for maintaining constantly open the doors to dialogue. President Johnson reviewed with president Diaz Ordaz a number of problems of world-wide importance, and reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to the same fundamental principles, as well as its commitment to a continuing search for peace throughout the world.

The two Heads of State reiterated the general opinion expressed in previous meetings of the Presidents of Mexico and the United States that it is in the interest of both countries to seek to maintain the access which each has to the markets of the other and to broaden these wherever .possible. The Joint Trade Committee established in 1965 was discussed by both Presidents as a major step forward in expanding the already large area of mutual interests which exist between the two countries in matters of commercial interchange.

Specific problems involving border trade between the two countries were mentioned by President Diaz Ordaz. The two Presidents agreed that their two Governments should study these problems with the aim of determining what measures could be taken to expand legitimate border trade in goods produced in both countries to the benefit of the border region.

The two Presidents discussed their deep concern regarding the international market for cotton, which is the leading Mexican export product and is also of great interest to the United States and to other Western hemisphere countries. The Presidents agreed that their two Governments should consult with each other and with other interested governments on the problems of production and marketing of cotton. Regarding the International Cotton Institute, created for the purpose of promoting the increase in cotton consumption, both Heads of State expressed their determination to continue the support of their Governments for the greater success of its mission.

President Diaz Ordaz reaffirmed his intention to continue the policy of promoting the economic development of Mexico at a rate substantially greater than the population increase, within a framework of monetary stability, which is so important in protecting the real income of the majority of the people. The two Presidents noted with satisfaction the increasing rate of economic and social progress in the hemisphere as a whole during the past two years and expressed their determination to continue their mutual cooperation to achieve the objectives of the Act of Bogota of 1960, the Charter of Punta del Este of 1961, and the Economic and Social Act of Rio de Janeiro of 1965.

The two Presidents were in agreement that the Supervised Agricultural Credit Program under the Alliance for Progress has proved an excellent example of the cooperation between the public and private banking institutions of both countries in carrying out the objectives of the Act of Bogota and the Charter of Punta del Este, as already mentioned, contributing effectively to the expansion of agricultural productivity and the modernization of rural life.

The two Presidents expressed their determination to improve the relations between the frontier dries of both countries, and to elevate the life of those who live in the border region. They agreed to create a commission which would study the manner in which these objectives could be realized by cooperative action to raise the standard of living of the respective communities, from a social and cultural as well as a material point of view.

The two Presidents expressed their determination to create an Abraham Lincoln Fund in Mexico and a Benito Juarez Fund in the United States in order to grant scholarships to the youth of the hemisphere who might be selected by a Joint Commission in order to continue their studies in institutions of higher learning of both countries.

The two Presidents agreed on the need to support the efforts for Latin American economic integration. President Diaz Ordaz expressed his satisfaction with the recent initiative of President Johnson in suggesting the creation of a special fund for the financing of pre-investment studies of multinational projects in support of regional integration. Both Presidents expressed their satisfaction that this work is moving forward under the leadership of the Inter-American Committee on the Alliance for Progress (CLAP) with the active participation of the Inter-American Development Bank. They also noted with satisfaction the progress being made toward integration through the work of the Latin American Free Trade Association and the Central American Common Market.

The two Presidents were pleased to note the progress achieved in the acquisition of lands, the transfer of residents and the construction of installations provided for in the convention for the solution of the Chamizal problem. They agreed to instruct the members of the International Boundary and Water Commission to intensify their efforts to bring about the change in the boundary as soon as possible.

The two Presidents expressed their satisfaction at the manner in which the agreement reached on March 22, 1965, regarding the problem of the salinity of the waters of the Colorado River, is operating. They were in agreement regarding the need for mutual consultation before proceeding to carrying out works which in the future might create problems of a nature similar to that mentioned previously.

The two Presidents agreed on the importance for their countries of the study which, under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency, is being carried out to determine the technical and economic possibilities of installing, at some point in Mexico near the United States border, a plant to desalinate sea water through the use of nuclear energy.

Finally, the two Presidents requested their respective Foreign Secretaries to continue their discussion of matters of common interest. President Diaz Ordaz expressed to President Johnson the deep gratitude of the Mexican people to the American people for the gift of the statue of Abraham Lincoln and reaffirmed that he considered it a most friendly act that the Chief of State of the United States should have desired to come in person to associate himself with the homage rendered to the Great Emancipator. President Johnson expressed his appreciation for the extraordinarily generous and friendly reception by the Mexican Government and people.

Note: The joint statement was released at Mexico City.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Joint Statement Following Informal Discussions With President Diaz Ordaz of Mexico. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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