The President met today with Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez, who is on a private visit to the U.S. The two leaders discussed the peace process in El Salvador, expressing their satisfaction over the agreement reached last weekend by the Government of El Salvador and the guerrillas. The President praised President Perez' efforts on behalf of peace in El Salvador.
They also discussed Nicaragua, with both leaders indicating their willingness to help Nicaragua clear its arrears with the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank as soon as possible. The United States is prepared to make a substantial contribution to this effort, and so is Venezuela. Spain, Mexico, and other countries are also offering very generous contributions. We hope that with this assistance, Nicaragua will be able to move forward with its economic reform program.
Both Presidents reaffirmed their strong commitment to democracy and pluralism in Haiti. On Suriname, the President and President Perez also set forth their strong support for civilian democratic rule; both agree that the May 25 elections will be a fundamental test of the Surinamese military's willingness to permit a genuine democratic process.
Finally, the two Presidents discussed international oil issues. President Perez briefed the President on a proposal for a multilateral consumer-producer dialog. The President reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to strengthened bilateral energy cooperation and consultations, including our excellent consultations with Venezuela. He reaffirmed the U.S. position that price, production levels, and related issues should be determined by market mechanisms, not by multilateral negotiations.
Following their meeting, President Perez left for Houston, TX, Tulsa, OK, and Palo Alto, CA. He will be honored at the graduation ceremony of the University of Tulsa on Saturday.