Mr. President, Mrs. Ceautescu, and all of our distinguished guests:
Mr. President, it was over 3 years ago that I had the honor of being the first American President to visit your country and when I had the honor to receive you here in Washington as the first President of Romania to visit our Nation's Capital.
In these past 3 years, we have seen a very great improvement in the relations between our two countries, improvement that is indicated by the amount of trade that we have between our countries, the amount of exchange, and in other areas which we think are particularly important in the economic and political areas.
What is also very significant, however, is that in those 3 years we have seen a great change in the world in which we live, a change that you and I first discussed in 1967 when I visited your capital, Bucharest, as a private citizen. It was then that we talked of the necessity for a bridge between East and West. And since these past 3 years, we have seen not only the visits I have referred to but a visit to the People's Republic of China, to the Soviet Union, and the development of new relationships between the United States and nations in the Socialist part of the world, but new relationships between Romania and nations in the non-Socialist part of the world.
It is as we look at the world today that we recognize how those relationships I came about, how two countries so very far apart geographically--one much larger than the other in terms of population, but each with a proud history--how two countries with different philosophies of government, nevertheless in the field of foreign policy had common objectives, and that was to seek good relations with all nations, regardless of what their philosophical ideas were. A policy of respecting the independence and sovereignty of every nation, large and small, in the world, and a policy of always recognizing that unless each nation has independence, and that that independence is not infringed upon and not threatened by other nations, there cannot be real peace, lasting peace, in the world.
This is the goal of our nation; it is the goal of your nation. It is one that we have discussed on several occasions before, and it is one that, in addition to the bipartisan matters we will be discussing, I am sure, we shall discuss at length in our e-day visit on this occasion.
We are happy that you and your wife will be able to visit not only Washington but a number of other cities in our country, and we know that you will receive here the same warmhearted welcome that made such an enormous impression on Mrs. Nixon and me and all the members of our party when we had the honor of visiting your country, Romania.Note: The President spoke at 10:45 a.m. on the South Lawn at the White House where President Ceausescu was given a formal welcome with full military honors.
President Ceausescu spoke in Romanian. His remarks were translated by an interpreter as follows:
Mr. President, Mrs. Nixon, ladies and gentlemen:
It is an occasion of particular pleasure for me, for my wife, and for my colleagues here to find ourselves again in the United States to meet you again, Mr. President, and to continue the dialog we started in 1967, and which has proved to be so fruitful both for the relations between our two nations and also for the development of cooperation and peace in the world.
It is true that after the visit you officially paid to Romania as the first President of the United States to be in my country, the visit you made together with Mrs. Nixon in 1969, the relations between our two countries have seen a continual progress. We have achieved significant developments in our economic cooperation. At the same time, our relations in the field of science, culture, exchanges of people in various fields, have developed also. Our peoples have started to know each other better and to cooperate together in the interest of general progress, of cooperation and peace in the world.
Likewise, the visit I paid to the United States in 1970, the talks I had at that time with you, with other political, economic personalities, with the representatives of the business community in the United States, have given a new impetus to the cooperation between our two countries. It is true since 1967, and then since your first official visit to my country in 1969, a number of years have passed. And in these years, many things have changed in the world, and these changes continue to take place and to become more accentuated, leading in the direction of a better cooperation among all peoples, in the direction of the assertion of each nation's independence, of the right for free economic and social development in conditions of observing each people's right to organize its life as it wishes and deems fit without any outside interference.
One can really say that the visit you paid to Romania was really a good start, and it marked favorable developments in the relations of your country with the Socialist countries, followed by the visit to the People's Republic of China and your visit to the Soviet Union. It opened the course toward developing cooperation with other Socialist countries as well. This is certainly an important moment in the developments of the world today and in the general course to insure a lasting peace in this world of ours.
In its policy, Romania starts from the premise that in the settlement of the great international problems, all states have a part to play, and they all should cooperate on an equal basis. No doubt the greater countries have greater responsibilities and a greater role to play, but life itself has demonstrated that the big international issues can only be settled with the participation and direct contribution of all states in international affairs.
It is only on that basis that we can build a better world, a world with more justice. We are convinced that the peoples of the world will march ever more firmly in this direction.
I am happy to be able to state that the relations between Romania and the United States are based precisely on these principles and that this has been confirmed in the years that have passed. I am persuaded that our visit to the United States and the talks with you, Mr. President, will establish an even more lasting basis to the cooperation between our two countries in the interest of a better and brighter world.
It is with these thoughts, Mr. President, that I address to you and to the people of America the feelings of friendship on behalf of the entire Romanian people. May I wish you and the American people progress and peace.