The United States agreed in principle on Thursday (7 February) to surrender its "sovereignty in perpetuity" over the Panama Canal.
SV Kissinger and Tack seated signing agreement
SV (SAME SHOT) Both men rise and shake hands
SV (SAME SHOT) both men standing during applause (bring up satsof)
CU Both men smiling during applause
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Background: The United States agreed in principle on Thursday (7 February) to surrender its "sovereignty in perpetuity" over the Panama Canal.
The U.S. Secretary of State, Dr. Henry Kissinger, and the Panamanian Foreign Minister, Juan Antonio Tack, signed the eight-point agreement of principles at the Legislative Palace in Panama City.
The principles will form the basis for detailed negotiations to change a 1903 treaty under which the Panama Canal and a ten-mile (16-kilometre) zone were ceded to the United States in perpetuity.
The eight principles include setting a time limit for American control of the Canal, gradual Panamanian jurisdiction, and an increase in Canal royalties to Panama.
In his speech at the Legislative Palace, Dr. Kissinger noted that there was opposition to the new treaty in both the United States and Panama.
Many Panamanian politicians saw the agreement as falling short of the original campaign for total Panamanian sovereignty of the Canal. Several leading U.S. Congressmen have objected to any lessening of U.S. control of the Canal zone.
Once the new treaty is drafted, ratified, and signed, the United States will turn over the Canal zone to Panama but will continue to operate the installations for a period to be specified in the treaty.
The main sticking point for the negotiators of the new treaty is the duration of the present treaty. The United States wants the present treaty to last until the end of the century. But Panama wants to take over the Canal Zone much sooner.