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Meeting With President Carlos Humberto Romero of El Salvador Remarks to Reporters Following the Meeting

September 08, 1977

THE PRESIDENT. Good afternoon.

President Romero from El Salvador was very gratifying to us.

In the past, there has been great concern in the United States about two questions: One, the question of human rights and the fact that charges have been made and allegations have been made that there were violations of these rights in El Salvador.

President Romero has informed me that he has requested that a commission on human rights from the United Nations or OAS go to El Salvador to see the great progress that has been made there in the last 2 months. And we are grateful to get this good news.

Another item that has been of great concern to us and all the nations of this hemisphere has been the absence of approval by the Congress of El Salvador of the mediation of the border disputes with Honduras, which has resulted in an interruption of free trade and transportation and exchange of people with Honduras to the north and the interruption of Pan-American Highway traffic.

But the President informed me that the Congress has today voted to accept the agreement that was signed here in Washington last year and that he anticipates a good chance now that the dispute with Honduras can be resolved without further delay.

So, these two problems that have existed between our countries have, I think, been substantially resolved, and we are very grateful that the new administration has been able to achieve these accomplishments in only 2 months in office.

I believe that we will have in the future a much closer relationship between our country and El Salvador, and I think the concern that has been expressed here in the Congress, among our people, and from the White House will be eliminated to a great degree in the future.

We believe that the President will carry out these statements with enthusiasm and with determination and with success. And this is very good news for all the nations and all the people of our hemisphere.

Q. Is there any indication, Mr. President, when the commission might be going to El Salvador?

THE PRESIDENT. No, but the President said that was one of his major purposes in coming to Washington. Since he has only been in office 2 months, this is really the first time for him to assess the needs in his country and to come to the OAS to specifically request that the commission go to El Salvador to witness, themselves, the progress that has been made.

But the time schedule for the sending of the commission, I guess, is now in the hands of the leaders of the international body.

Q. Did he see any progress for possible renewal of relations with Honduras, or did you just talk about mediation?

THE PRESIDENT. He just pointed out the fact that the Congress had today voted unanimously to take this action, which all of us have been hoping to see. But I think the President himself would have to answer the question about prospects for the renewal of relations. ! don't know about that. We are very grateful for this good news.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 4:30 p.m. on the South Grounds of the White House.

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 Carlos Humberto Romero of El Salvador Remarks to Reporters Following the Meeting Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/241716

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