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National Archives

Public Papers - 1990 - September

Statement by Deputy Press Secretary Popadiuk on the President's Meeting With the Administrator and Deputy Administrator of the Panama Canal Commission

1990-09-21

The President met today in the Oval Office with Gilberto Guardia and Raymond Laverty to congratulate them upon their installation as Administrator and Deputy Administrator of the Panama Canal. They were sworn in on September 20, 1990, in a ceremony at the Department of State. Mr. Guardia is the first Panamanian citizen to head the Canal and the first non-U.S. citizen to head a U.S. Government Agency. Panamanian Vice President Guillermo Ford also attended the meeting.

The President noted that the assumption of the offices of Administrator and Deputy Administrator, according to the procedures agreed to by the United States and Panama in the Panama Canal Treaty, is a demonstration that the two countries can work together on the basis of equality and mutual respect to ensure a safe and efficient canal. Vice President Ford's presence is a fitting reminder of the vitality of the new democratic government in Panama and the strength of the ties between our two countries.

The Panama Canal Treaties provide a sound framework for the common interests of the United States and Panama in seeing the canal continue as a secure and efficient link for world trade. The United States is committed to preparing for a smooth and trouble-free transfer of the canal to Panama at the end of the century. The President asked that Mr. Guardia and Mr. Laverty convey to the American and Panamanian employees of the Panama Canal Commission the thanks and appreciation of the U.S. Government for their skilled and dedicated service.

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