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Remarks to Reporters by the President and President Diaz Ordaz of Mexico Announcing a Boundary Agreement

August 20, 1970

President Diaz Ordaz has very well summarized the results of our discussions. I only want to add my congratulations and express appreciation to the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, the Secretary of State, and their staffs for working out some of these, what seemed to be difficult, problems: and also to pay my respects and again express my appreciation to the President for the leadership that he has displayed in attempting to work out satisfactorily, not only the disputes of the past which have sometimes plagued the relations unnecessarily between our two countries for 100 years, but a formula for settling any dispute that may come out in the future.

It is necessary, under the Mexican Constitution, that this agreement be submitted to the Congress. I, of course, cannot speak for the Congress of Mexico. I understand that the possibility of its being approved, I believe, is very good.

As far as we are concerned, we will submit this as a treaty to the United States Senate. While we have had some difficulties with some votes in the Senate, the Secretary of State assures me that we can get a unanimous vote on this treaty.

During the course of our meeting of over two hours and a half, the President and I had an opportunity also to discuss a wide range of bilateral matters between our two countries. And one of those subjects, I think, should be mentioned: the Colorado River salinity problem.

I noted, incidentally, there was a group at the airport expressing a great interest in this problem. We, of course, are vitally concerned about it. And I can report, with the President's approval, that we made progress in our discussions and are continuing at the working level trying to find a solution that we believe will be satisfactory.

Note: The President spoke at approximately 7:10 p.m. on the patio of the Posada Vallarta Hotel, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico following President Diaz Ordaz' remarks to reporters.

On August 21, 1970, the White House released an announcement of an agreement to conclude a boundary treaty between the United States and Mexico and a statement of principles concerning the agreement following meetings between Secretary of State William P. Rogers and Secretary of Foreign Relations for Mexico Antonio Carrillo Flores. The texts of both releases are printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 6, pp. 1088 and 1090).

The transcript of a news briefing on the boundary agreement by Joseph F. Friedkin, Commissioner, U.S. Section, International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico; Chris G. Petrow, Country Director--Mexico, Department of State; and Arnold Nachmanoff, senior staff member, National Security Council, was also released on the same day.

President Diaz Ordaz spoke in Spanish. A translation follows:

Gentlemen of the press:

You have been following us and now President Nixon and myself, in due course, have come to see you to tell you about a very important conclusion which we have arrived at in our conversations.

The Secretary of State of the United States and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico will later, tomorrow, give you the details of this arrangement. But I wish to now say that we have reached an agreement as to all the pending disputes as far as the border is concerned where the river, the Rio Grande, divides us from El Paso to Brownsville and even 12 miles further out into the ocean-

We have not only settled all pending disputes that have been pending for more than 100 years but we have also established mechanisms and means to solve any future disputes or perhaps to avoid them.

This is a very important conclusion. It settles definitely all pending border problems of Mexico-the United States, and I wish to thank, heartily thank, all the officers of both Governments who have collaborated to make this possible.

We must remember that we are two peoples who have been married by geography and it is necessary and convenient that we should have no problems whatsoever arising from the delineation of our borders.
Thank you.

Richard Nixon, Remarks to Reporters by the President and President Diaz Ordaz of Mexico Announcing a Boundary Agreement Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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