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Visit of President Lopez Portillo of Mexico Joint Press Statement.

September 29, 1979

President Carter and President Lopez Portillo met at the White House September 28-29 for the third in a series of reviews on the status of bilateral relations and consideration of regional and global issues of mutual interest.

At their second meeting the Presidents had agreed to a restructuring of the Consultative Mechanism and had requested their Secretaries of State and Foreign Relations to report on the matter. The first order of business at this meeting, accordingly, was to review that report. The Presidents expressed satisfaction with the intensive effort made by the working groups of the Consultative Mechanism and the substantive progress achieved in those groups. They concluded that the Mechanism has proven to be an effective vehicle for coordinating and further defining bilateral relations. They therefore instructed their Administrations to continue working through the Mechanism in the areas of mutual interest already identified.

President Carter and President Lopez Portillo reviewed the status of bilateral consultations in the energy field and expressed their pleasure at the successful conclusion of governmental negotiations for the sale of Mexican surplus associated natural gas to the United States. They considered this agreement advantageous to both countries. Regarding another energy source, the Presidents expressed their hope that ongoing negotiations for electric energy interchanges along their common border may also be satisfactorily concluded in the near future.

Both Presidents noted that the common border offers unique opportunities for close collaboration in many areas. They expressed their interest in enhancing the environment along the border and preserving the quality of life in the region. Presidents Carter and Lopez Portillo agreed on the need for both countries to prevent events or actions on one side of the land or maritime boundary from degrading the environment on the other side. They also instructed their Administrations to give a high priority to such questions. They also agreed to work within the Consultative Mechanism to determine if it is possible or appropriate to conclude agreements for measures by both countries to lessen or eliminate environmental damage in the future.

The Presidents recalled that last February they had instructed the International Boundary and Water Commission to recommend measures that might be adopted within the context of existing agreements to achieve further progress towards a permanent solution to border sanitation problems. The Presidents reviewed the recommendations submitted by the Commission, and found them satisfactory as a basic agreement for solution of border sanitation problems. The Presidents asked the Commission to proceed as soon as possible to conclude the supplementary recommendations for completion of the works required to provide the good quality water which they had recognized in February to be so important for the health and well being of the citizens of both countries living and traveling in the border area.

The Presidents paid special attention to the phenomenon of the migratory flow between Mexico and the United States, including specific issues that arise therefrom on both sides of the border. They recognized that, as they had agreed last February, it is essential to know with greater precision and detail all aspects of the matter.

The President of Mexico accordingly outlined the purposes and first partial results of the national survey of emigration to the northern border and the United States, undertaken by the Department of Labor and Social Welfare. This large-scale study, which is in an advanced stage, will provide more precise information on the size and nature of emigration, including data on the number of emigrants who annually enter the United States, how many return to Mexico, their contribution to the U.S. and Mexican economies, and the degree to which they draw upon and contribute to social services in the United States. President Carter agreed on the importance of statistical consistency in approaching questions of migration and was pleased to learn of the progress of the survey.

President Carter described the steps he has taken to ensure that all Departments and Agencies of the United States Government give priority to the protection of the human rights of all persons in the United States, whether or not they are American citizens.

Both Presidents repeated their commitment to combat the smuggling of undocumented persons, which constitutes a serious threat to human rights.

Following their review of bilateral matters, President Lopez Portillo and President Carter discussed recent developments in Central America and agreed that progress toward a democratic government in Nicaragua had improved the prospects of peace in the region and a greater respect for human rights. They committed their governments to continue supporting the Nicaraguan Government of National Reconstruction with a view toward assisting it in the task of economic and social recovery. Both Presidents exchanged points of view on the Caribbean.

President Carter congratulated President Lopez Portillo on his proposal to the United Nations on rationalized production and consumption of energy, both in the industrialized countries and the developing countries, saying that it was a balanced presentation, positive in tone. President Carter also referred to the energy plan proposed to the U.S. Congress and agreed on the need to devote increased efforts to alternative sources.

Finally, there was a review of the latest developments on the Middle East and SALT II Treaty.

Jimmy Carter, Visit of President Lopez Portillo of Mexico Joint Press Statement. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/248623

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