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Brasilia, Brazil Remarks of President Carter and President Ernesto Geisel at the Welcoming Ceremony.

March 29, 1978

PRESIDENT GEISEL. Your Excellency, President of the United States of America:

In the name of the Government and the people of Brazil, I should like to express my warmest words of welcome to Your Excellency and to Mrs. Carter, as well as to the members of your party, and wish you a happy stay in Brazil.

Your Excellency's presence in our country well reflects the stage reached by the traditional friendship that links Brazil and the United States of America. I am happy, therefore, that Your Excellency was able to carry out your plans for travel. And I must state that I understood perfectly well the decision you had to take regarding the postponement of the original date foreseen for your visit.

Your Excellency has already been to our country before taking on your heavy responsibilities, and Mrs. Carter more recently gave us the pleasure of her agreeable company when she visited us last year.

As it has happened before, Your Excellency and Mrs. Carter will be welcomed as friends by the Brazilians. The hospitality with which we greet those who visit us cordially will be with you during all the time you are in our country. We will be extremely satisfied if the present visit may assist Your Excellency and Mrs. Carter in forming a fair opinion about the Brazilian reality.

Personally, I believe that our talks will be rewarding and that they will allow for a renewed trust in the relations between our two countries.

PRESIDENT CARTER. Thank you, Mr. President, for your kind words of welcome.

This is my second visit to your beautiful capital city of Brasilia, and this time I am pleased to bring not only my own personal words of personal greeting but those of the people of my country as well. And I come to Brazil with a full realization that our two nations share the responsibilities of great world powers.

There are many things in our histories that make us understand one another, that have taught us both to treat the other with friendship and respect. We both earned our freedom from European colonial powers, and in this century our soldiers fought side by side in Europe during the World Wars to bring peace and freedom to others.

We have both expanded through our great national frontiers which have provided our most difficult challenges and our best opportunities, and we have applied the determination and the talent of our people to conquer them.

The frontier spirit truly has shaped the attitudes of Brazil and of the United States. We both built new capitals as acts of faith in our own future—you, 18 years ago here in the Sertao; our ancestors, nearly 200 years ago along the Potomac River.

We are both proud of the human diversity of our national population, and we value our unique cultures, which we are determined to preserve.

I have seen the greatness of Brazil during my visits to Manaus, to Belem, Recife, to Sao Paulo, and to Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil's rise to world leadership has earned the admiration of the people everywhere in the world, but nowhere more so than in the United States. Yours is the fifth largest nation and the sixth most populous. Your national product is already the world's eighth largest, and it is growing at one of the fastest rates in the world.

You have the vision, the energy, and the creativity of a truly great power, and the world must depend upon you to apply those talents to the problems that affect us all.

Both our nations are turning to nuclear power as one of the answers to-our energy problem, and we both believe that peaceful use of atomic power is not incompatible with the need to prevent nuclear proliferation.

Like you, my Nation is concerned that the system of world trade be made fairer and more open and that all nations have an equal chance to participate.

Today all of us are joining in the worldwide struggle to advance the cause of human freedom and the rule of law. This is a struggle that will prevail only when we are willing to recognize our own limitations and to speak to each other frankly and with understanding.

Our friendship with Brazil is an old one. In 1824 the United States was the first nation to recognize your independence. Our friendship can be even stronger now as we accept as equals the responsibilities the world asks of us.

Mr. President, I must not fail to mention with gratitude your sharing with us one of Brazil's greatest treasures, perhaps the greatest athlete of all, the incomparable Pele. He is a friend of mine, and his courage on the playing field has been an inspiration to the people of the United States.

My wife, Rosalynn, visited you last year, and her accounts of your hospitality and your very useful discussions, Mr. President, made me all the more eager to visit Brazil once more.

We both know that personal contact between leaders can build understanding between nations, and I believe that our conversations will result in a reaffirmation of the mutual respect and friendship that has blessed our two nations for so long a time.

Thank you very much.

Note: The exchange began at 5:08 p.m. at the Aeroporto Militar. President Geisel spoke in Portuguese, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

Following the ceremony, President Carter proceeded to the Palacio do Planalto for meetings with President Geisel.

In the evening, the President attended a working dinner hosted by President Geisel at the Palacio da Alvorada.

Jimmy Carter, Brasilia, Brazil Remarks of President Carter and President Ernesto Geisel at the Welcoming Ceremony. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/244757

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