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Meeting With President Daniel Oduber Quiros of Costa Rica Remarks to Reporters Following the Meeting

September 09, 1977

REPORTER. Would you be so kind as to inform us about your discussions?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, it's very difficult to find any differences that exist between Costa Rica and the United States. If there is a pure democracy in the world which has been an example for all nations in preserving human freedoms, it would be Costa Rica.

This is a nation which has protected itself, not through military might, since you don't even have an army, but which has preserved its own freedom by making those freedoms so attractive.

We have followed in the footsteps of President Oduber and his predecessors in our own insistence on publicizing the deprivation of human rights in this hemisphere.

Our trade arrangements with Costa Rica are mutually advantageous. The friendship that has long existed between .our countries is a very precious possession for us. I've been to Costa Rica to visit. My wife has been there twice; Ambassador Young has been there recently; Mr. Todman has been there recently. And we are very proud that President Oduber could come here for this meeting.

Another subject that's of great importance to all our people is the quality of the environment, and the first time I became acquainted with President Oduber was when he received an award as the outstanding environmentalist among all leaders in the world. He was here in Washington, and I called to congratulate him on that occasion.

The other thing I'd like to say--and then perhaps he would like to make a comment--is that 25 nations have come here to be represented and to sign the Declaration of Washington, which is a remarkable demonstration of mutuality of purpose and friendship that is perhaps unprecedented. And we have used the signing of the Panama treaty as an opportunity to bring these nations together. But I think in Central America, we have a much greater chance now to see the longstanding disputes--for instance, that have existed between El Salvador and Honduras-be resolved.

And there's been a major commitment to me and mutually among the leaders for the enhancement of basic human rights, which have long been a source of deprivation in some of the countries of our hemisphere.

So, Costa Rica represents the kind of nation that's worthy of admiration and emulation. And I'm very grateful that President Oduber has been here to represent these great people.

Note: The President spoke at 4:15 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 Daniel Oduber Quiros of Costa Rica Remarks to Reporters Following the Meeting Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/241810

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