April 8, 1983
President Reagan. Well, our very cordial and productive talks today covered a broad range of issues. As two countries strongly committed to democratic government, we are heartened by the obviously favorable trend toward democracy in Latin America. And I would be remiss if I did not express here my personal admiration for President Hurtado's courageous leadership in this area and his firm resolve to hold free national elections next year.
The President and I also spoke today about the serious economic difficulties facing many countries in this hemisphere and the importance of working closely together to overcome these problems. Such cooperation is vital to our mutual interest in peaceful and democratic change. We're confident that the economic measures President Hurtado is taking in Ecuador will succeed.
Our two governments have worked closely to resolve differences that may arise between us. We were pleased to reach an accord last month on restrictions for certain Ecuadorean fish exports to the United States and welcomed Ecuador's willingness to discuss practical solutions to the fisheries issues.
Our discussions today were carried on in a spirit of openness and mutual respect as befits two countries with many shared values, including our commitment to democracy, freedom, and human rights. I have very much appreciated the opportunity to have President Hurtado as my guest, to benefit from his perceptive views, and to reaffirm the warm and abiding friendship that the peoples of our two countries have long enjoyed.
President Hurtado. Thank you very much, Mr. President.
It has been a great pleasure and a satisfaction to speak to Mr. Reagan, to President Reagan, regarding the problems of Latin America and the possible social and economic consequences.
In Latin America, and specifically in my country, in Ecuador, we have assumed the responsibility for reestablishing the balance that is necessary to maintain economic and political equilibrium.
However, the efforts that my government and our people can carry out will not be sufficient if we do not find the understanding and the aid of the industrialized countries of the North, as well as the collaboration of multinational finance institutions and international, private banking groups. Without this cooperation, all of the national efforts undertaken by ourselves and our people will not give the necessary results that we are all attempting to find.
In the conversations that we have held during these past few days with the representatives of all these organizations, and especially in the conversations maintained with President Reagan today, we have found a very high degree of understanding with reference to the problems that afflict Latin America and that these will lead us to finding solutions.
The conversations that we have maintained during these days have had always as a common horizon the will of the two countries in maintaining the ideals that are shared by both countries -- ideals of liberty and of deep respect for human rights.
A social progress democracy is what Latin America requires, and perhaps out of this crisis we can find the necessary means to look for these solutions.
Note: President Reagan spoke at 1:28 p.m. to reporters assembled at the South Portico of the White House. President Hurtado spoke in Spanish, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.
Earlier, the two Presidents met in the Oval Office and then held a working luncheon, together with Ecuadorean and U.S. officials, in the Residence.