John F. Kennedy photo

Conversation With the Prime Minister of Nigeria by Means of the Syncom Communications Satellite.

August 23, 1963

THE PRESIDENT. Prime Minister? Prime Minister Balewa: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT. It is a great pleasure to talk to you from the White House. We send our very best wishes to your people and to you.

The Prime Minister: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT. I hope that this is the beginning of much closer communication between Nigeria and the United States and, indeed, between the whole continent of Africa and our continent, our hemisphere. I think that this can be a very important means of providing for closer understanding among our peoples and also, of course, among the people of Africa.

We send you, particularly, Prime Minister, our best wishes, remembering your visit here to the United States. I also appreciated the wire you sent me in early August in regard to the test ban treaty. I think that what we are doing today shows what can be done through the peaceful use of space.

The Prime Minister: We congratulate you very heartily, Mr. President, for this very big achievement.

THE PRESIDENT. Prime Minister, I hope we will be seeing you back in the United States and that all goes well for your country and your people.

The Prime Minister: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT. Very good wishes, Prime Minister, and we look forward to having Dick Tiger come over here.

The Prime Minister: It was indeed a very great day for us when Dick Tiger beat the American, Gene Fullmer.

THE PRESIDENT. I know. I know. We watch those things over here. Well, we wish you good luck, Prime Minister, and give our very warmest regards from the people of the United States to the people of Nigeria.

The Prime Minister: Mr. President, I would be very happy if you would convey our greetings and all the best wishes to the people of the United States.

THE PRESIDENT. Thank you, Prime Minister, and we look forward to seeing you back at the White House again some day.

The Prime Minister: It is my intention to visit the United States very soon, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT. Good. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, and goodbye.

Note: The President spoke by telephone at 9:30 a.m. with Prime Minister Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa of Nigeria as part of a ceremony formally inaugurating service by the new Syncom II satellite launched July 26. In the course of his remarks he referred to Dick Tiger of Nigeria who on August 10 had retained the world middleweight boxing championship by defeating Gene Fullmer of Utah at Ibadan, Nigeria.

John F. Kennedy, Conversation With the Prime Minister of Nigeria by Means of the Syncom Communications Satellite. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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