Joint Honduras-United States Communique

May 21, 1985

The Presidents of the United States of America and the Republic of Honduras, meeting in Washington, D.C., on May 21, 1985, with full commitment of their Governments to the ideals of justice, liberty and democracy that the people of the Western Hemisphere seek, and recognizing the critical situation in which these values are being tested in Central America today as well as the urgent obligation to safeguard them, issue this communique:

The two Presidents noted with satisfaction the warm, cooperative ties between the two nations, including the very close security relationship which contributes to peace and stability in the Central American region and strengthens the independence and sovereignty of their respective nations. Both Presidents expressed great satisfaction with the work of the Joint Commission on U.S.-Honduran relations that was formed in Washington in November 1984 to promote, on the basis of sovereign equality and mutual respect, sustained economic and social development and enhanced security.

The Presidents reviewed the results of recent discussions on economic matters within the Joint Commission, in particular the program for economic revitalization being developed by the Government of Honduras and the support of that program by the United States through economic assistance funds. They reaffirmed the agreements reached by the Joint Commission for the disbursement during 1985 of $147.5 million in Economic Support Funds. The two Presidents expressed approval of the objectives of the Honduran economic program to achieve sustained, non-inflationary economic growth through measures to control fiscal and balance of payments deficits.

They endorsed the mutual efforts to encourage expansion of the productive and exporting sectors of the Honduran economy. They agreed that their governments will cooperate closely and will seek increasing levels of bilateral and multilateral economic assistance to support economic stability, growth, and development to improve the living standard of the people of Honduras.

The Presidents reviewed the work on security issues of the Joint Commission, including the ongoing review of the Military Assistance Agreement between the United States and Honduras of 1954. They expressed approval for modification of that Agreement and associated documents with respect to the following:

-- the exercise of criminal jurisdiction over United States Department of Defense personnel present in Honduras;

-- the sharing of maintenance and repair costs at specified Honduran airfields;

-- the establishment of standard procedures for settling claims associated with United States military activity in Honduras; and

-- the establishment of a joint political-military administrative group to review and facilitate appropriate administrative issues.

They further expressed satisfaction with the substantive progress made in the Joint Commission's review of the following areas of mutual interest: operating procedures related to the scheduling and planning of combined military exercises; counter-terrorism training; U.S. use of Honduran military facilities and airspace; and continued joint consultations and security threat analysis to facilitate Honduran planning of minimum force and force modernization requirements.

In the context of their review of the security relationship, the two Presidents reaffirmed their governments' intention to continue to work closely together to confront the serious threats to the peace and security of both countries through mutual assistance and the development of defensive capabilities. To this end, the Government of the United States will continue to cooperate, as necessary and appropriate, in the strengthening of Honduras' defenses and the modernization of its armed forces.

The Government of the United States further reiterated its firm and unwavering commitment to cooperate in the defense of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Honduras in accordance with the reciprocal rights and obligations relating to individual and collective self defense and the use of armed force, as expressed in the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, the Charter of the United Nations and the Charter of the Organization of American States.

In view of the very close and cooperative nature of the two countries' political and security relationships and the very serious security threats that exist in Central America, the Governments of the United States and Honduras reaffirm the rights and obligations in these three agreements, including Article 3 of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations and Article 21 of the Charter of the Organization of American States. In case of an armed attack against Honduras, the United States will take appropriate measures, consistent with the rights and obligations cited above, to consult with and support in a timely and effective manner the Government of Honduras in its efforts to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity against communist aggression.

To ensure the success of these cooperative efforts, the two Presidents agreed that the Governments will maintain close working relations through the continued work of the Joint Commission, and periodic consultations of their foreign ministers and other governmental officials on matters of mutual interest or concern.

Lastly, the two Presidents reiterated their conviction that the development of the Central American people can be fulfilled only in a climate of peace and liberty. In this sense, they expressed their firm support for a verifiable and comprehensive implementation of the Contadora Document of Objectives including, in particular, dialogue to achieve national reconciliation in the democratic framework.