Byrd to attend Panama treaties 30th anniversary

Friday, August 31 2007 @ 03:36 pm EDT

Contributed by: Don Winner

The Charleston Gazette - U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., will travel to Panama next week to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Panama Canal Treaties, according to an announcement released Thursday from the senatorís office. The president of Panama invited Byrd to join in the Sept. 3 ceremonies, the press release said. Panamanian officials, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter and various Latin American heads of state are also scheduled to attend. Carter and then-Panamanian Chief of Government Omar Torrijos signed the treaties on Sept. 7, 1977. The agreement relinquished U.S. control of the canal to Panama by 2000 and guaranteed its neutrality. Byrd supported Senate passage of the treaties, although he initially had concerns about transferring control of the canal to Panama, according to the press release.

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