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  Jimmy Carter - Statement on the Panama Canal Treaty Signing (September 7, 1977)
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ContributorThomas Walker 
Post Date ,  12:am
DescriptionMr. Secretary General and distinguished leaders from throughout our own country and from throughout this hemisphere:

First of all, I want to express my deep thanks to the leaders who have come here from 27 nations in our own hemisphere, 20 heads of state, for this historic occasion.

I'm proud to be here as part of the largest group of heads of state ever assembled in the Hall of the Americas, Mr. Secretary General.

We are here to participate in the signing of treaties which will assure a peaceful and prosperous and secure future for an international waterway of great importance to us all.

But the treaties do more than that. They mark the commitment of the United States to the belief that fairness, and not force, should lie at the heart of our dealings with the nations of the world.

If any agreement between two nations is to last, it must serve the best interests of both nations. The new treaties do that. And by guaranteeing the neutrality of the Panama Canal, the treaties also serve the best interests of every nation that uses the canal.

This agreement thus forms a new partnership to insure that this vital waterway, so important to all of us, will continue to be well operated, safe, and open to shipping by all nations, now and in the future.
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