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Meeting With President Alfonso Lopez Michelsen of Colombia Remarks to Reporters Following the Meeting

September 06, 1977

THE PRESIDENT. This is Colombia?

REPORTER. Yes. We are from Colombia.

THE PRESIDENT. Fine. I am glad to see you.

Q. Can you tell me anything about your meeting?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, President Lopez and I had a very thorough discussion about many items. First of all, the preservation of Colombia's special rights in the use of the Panama Canal--they will be extended after the canal treaty goes into effect.

We also discussed the very important trade relationships that exist between ourselves and Colombia and the total commitment that Colombia has always made to democracy in its purest form and to the principle of human rights. And we discussed the importance of many nations being involved in pursuing the hope that all people might live in freedom and without oppression from government. And Colombia has set a very fine example for the rest of the world to follow.

We discussed the very serious problem of the traffic in drugs--marijuana, cocaine, and heroin--and the growing cooperation between our country and Colombia. President Lopez has been very helpful in this effort of ours, and we have been helpful, I hope, in his effort, as well.

We have no differences between our countries. There is great friendship and great cooperation, and this has existed historically. And I think that our own visit together was one of complete understanding and cooperation.

I also, of course, expressed my thanks to President Lopez and to his family for being so hospitable to my own wife when she was in Colombia recently and reminded him of my own visit to Colombia back in 1973 when I was Governor of Georgia.

So far as I know, the relationships between the United States and Colombia are excellent. It means a lot to us in this country to have the people of Colombia supporting the Panama Canal Treaty that has been evolved between the United States and Panama.

And I think it's accurate to say that President Lopez has been very helpful during the negotiations themselves.

Note: The President spoke at 6 p.m. on the South Grounds of the White House. His concluding remarks in Spanish were not included in the transcript.

The transcript of the remarks was made available by the White House Press Office. It was not issued in the form of a White House press release.

Jimmy Carter, Meeting With President Alfonso Lopez Michelsen of Colombia Remarks to Reporters Following the Meeting Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/241539

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