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Joint Statement by the President and President Remon Cantera of Panama.

October 01, 1953

IN THE SPIRIT of the close friendship that unites the peoples and Governments of Panama and the United States, we have considered the main aspects of the unique relations existing between the two countries prompted by an earnest desire to make such relations as satisfactory as possible.

In our conversations we have dealt mainly with that part of our relations which springs directly from the fact that the canal which connects the waters of the two oceans and the zone adjacent thereto run through the heart of the territory of Panama and, therefore, certain questions have arisen, the solution of which is of great importance.

In considering these relationships, we have deemed it opportune in the first place to reiterate the basic principles set forth by our governments in 1933 and 1936.

We have agreed that these basic principles applicable to the relations between the two countries should have as a consequence the adoption of measures tending to make them more effective to the end that there should be an equitable benefiting of the two nations which made possible the construction of a canal as well as an enabling of the commerce and industry of Panama to take advantage of the market offered by the Canal Zone and by the ships transiting the Canal.

We have equally agreed that inasmuch as the two countries have a mutual and vital interest in the work of the Panama Canal, the principle of equality of opportunity and treatment must have full effect in regard to the citizens of Panama and the United States employed in the Canal Zone as set forth in the exchange of notes of March 2, 1936 on this subject and that wherever circumstances should be found which in any manner interfere with the observance of that principle, appropriate measures will be taken by the United States.

In conformity with the first of the two principles, above stated, we have recognized the advisability of giving due consideration, in the cases of lands granted in the past for Canal purposes which are no longer needed for such purposes in order that arrangements may be agreed upon for the transfer of those lands to the Republic of Panama.

It is extremely gratifying that the commissions set up by the two governments to review our relations and the operation of our treaties are already at work with a view to entering into any arrangements that may be found necessary to insure for the future a mutually advantageous and satisfactory relationship.

The President of the Republic of Panama has expressed during the course of these conversations his deep appreciation for the cordial and friendly attitude of the President of the United States and has reiterated the expressions of sincere friendship which animate the people and Government of Panama in respect of the people and Government of the United States of America, and also has expressed his full solidarity with the United States in the defense of democracy and Panama's unflinching will to cooperate with it, as the Republic has already done in the two world wars, in the maintenance of peace and security within a free world.

The President of the United States on his part has expressed the interest of the people and Government of the United States in the welfare of the people and Government of Panama. He has assured the President of the Republic of Panama that all of the points which the representatives of Panama desire to raise would receive the most sympathetic consideration in the light of the especially close relations existing between the two countries. In view of the nature of the special bonds between the two countries he has expressed the desire of the United States to continue to cooperate in the development of Panama's national economy.

It is felt that this meeting has achieved a high measure of mutual understanding and confidence which in the common interest of the two nations and of the free world must characterize the ties between them.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Joint Statement by the President and President Remon Cantera of Panama. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232091

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