Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Statements by the President and President Lleras Following Their Discussions.

April 08, 1960

THE PRESIDENT of the United States has had a valuable and friendly exchange of views with the President of Colombia on a number of subjects of mutual interest, including matters of special significance and concern in inter-American relations. The discussions between the two Presidents began at the White House on Wednesday, April 6, and continued at Camp David on Thursday, April 7. They were entirely informal in nature and without any agenda; no negotiations of any type were involved. They took place in an atmosphere of complete cordiality, frankness and mutual understanding.

During his four-day visit President Lleras addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress and he and the members of his party conferred with the Vice President, the Secretary of State, members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and other United States Government officials. After leaving Washington President Lleras will visit three other cities of this country and will meet and confer with governmental, cultural and business leaders.

The President is happy to confirm that there are no serious problems pending between the United States and Colombia and that relations between the two countries are characterized by a spirit of friendliness and mutual respect. He discussed at length with President Lleras the economic needs of Colombia and noted with satisfaction the return of Colombia to economic and financial stability under the present regime, a development largely made possible by the great efforts of the Colombian Government and people and cooperation between the Colombian Government and official and private banks in the United States, together with support from international banking institutions. At the same time these discussions disclosed the need for increasing and diversifying Colombian agricultural and industrial production to keep pace with the rapid growth of population in that country, in which task all possible efforts will be made to cooperate with the Colombian Government.

The conversations dwelt also upon the basic problem of social and economic development which, as President Lleras has eloquently stated, "has no other objective than that of producing within the shortest period of time, with the full application of all public and private resources, a gradual rise in the standard of living of the entire population and a better distribution of income." The two Presidents found it a matter for rejoicing that in America war has been outlawed as an instrument of national policy, that Americans, north and south, live at peace with one another and wholeheartedly sympathize with and maintain their solidarity with the free nations of the world. They reaffirmed their support of the Organization of American States and their devotion to the defense of its ideals as voiced in its Charter and other significant inter-American agreements.

Finally, President Eisenhower expressed his conviction that a continuing personal relationship between the Chiefs of State of the two countries was an important element in maintaining the long tradition of friendship and cooperation between Colombia and the United States, and that the present visit signifies the determination of the two Chiefs of State and their two Governments to continue their collaboration on matters of mutual concern both directly and through international organizations, as befits two nations sharing a common faith in freedom, democracy and social justice.

Note: The statement by President Lleras follows:

The President of Colombia has had a most gratifying experience in his visit to the United States in response to the invitation from President Eisenhower. In his conversations with President Eisenhower, Secretary of State Herter and other high officials of the American Government he has had the opportunity to discuss problems that affect the hemisphere and their relation to world problems and, in particular, to those of Colombia. The President of Colombia found the same spirit of cooperation, understanding and good neighborliness that constantly has characterized relations between the two countries, as well as an intense and deep concern for the progress of the Latin American nations, their political and social stability and their economic development. Colombia has wished to make fully evident, on the occasion of this visit, its appreciation for the high degree of cooperation it has received from the Government of the United States in connection with the crisis suddenly made acute by the drop in coffee prices, that, had it continued, would have brought disaster to the producing countries. In this crisis, the United States assumed the position, unprecedented for a consumer country, of cooperating in the formulation of world-wide agreements designed to seek stability for this product. Likewise, the President of Colombia has wanted to attest his gratitude and that of his people for the financial aid given the economic policies of his Government, thanks to which it has been possible to reestablish the foreign credit of his country, to stabilize its currency and to open new prospects for economic development.

President Eisenhower and high officials of the American Government, as well as members of the United States Congress, have shown on this occasion special interest in intensifying the cooperation of their country with the efforts being made by the American Governments to raise the standards of living of their peoples. Also, the President of Colombia has found a clear expression of the respect, confidence and esteem in which the Government of the United States holds the Organization of American States as an instrument for studying, clarifying and resolving all problems that may arise concerning relations between our countries, when these cannot be resolved directly. It has been gratifying and stimulating to the Chief of the Colombian Government to confirm that he is in complete accord with President Eisenhower's concept that the juridical structure developed by the American states during the 71 years of their collaboration is one of the greatest contributions of our times to the predominance of a system of law in international relations, and with the need and desirability of strengthening the American regional organization by giving it the governments' strongest support.

It is also gratifying to the President of Colombia to state that, although it was not the aim of his visit to discuss any special aspect of cooperation between the two countries, he found in President Eisenhower, in the members of Congress and the Government and generally in all official circles, special desire to help resolve the serious problems of Colombia's growth and to enlist the American nation in the development of an economic and social policy that would serve the interests of the Colombian people, raise .their standard of living and contribute to developing a state of prosperity and justice. In the course of our interviews through the normal channels, conversations will be carried forward on specific ways to cooperate in these efforts, that are intended to consolidate democracy and the order, peace and social justice of the hemisphere.

The President of Colombia wishes to express his highest appreciation for the way President Eisenhower, the American Government and people have received the Chief of a sister nation, turning this visit not only into an act of close friendship between nations but also into a very useful opportunity to examine new ways of intensifying long term and reciprocal political and economic cooperation.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statements by the President and President Lleras Following Their Discussions. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234149

Filed Under



Simple Search of Our Archives