John F. Kennedy photo

Exchange of Greetings With Leaders of the Soviet Union.

January 21, 1961

Nikita Khrushchev,

Chairman, Council of Ministers, U.S.S.R. Leonid Brezhnev, Chairman, Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, U.S.S.R.

Please accept this expression of my appreciation for your kind message of congratulations on the occasion of my inauguration as President of the United States of America. I welcome your expression of hope for a fundamental improvement in relations between our two countries and in the world situation as a whole; it is a hope which we share. We are ready and anxious to cooperate with all who are prepared to join in genuine dedication to the assurance of a peaceful and a more fruitful life for all mankind. Speaking on behalf of the Government and people of the United States of America, as well as on my own behalf, I can assure you that the efforts of the United States Government will be directed toward this imperative goal.



Note: The message from Mr. Khrushchev. and Mr. Brezhnev, dated January 20 and delivered to the White House at 4 p.m. on the same day, follows:

Dear Mr. President:

We congratulate you on the occasion of your inauguration. Availing ourselves of this opportunity we wish to express the hope that by our own joint efforts we shall succeed in achieving a fundamental improvement in relations between our countries and a normalization of the whole international situation. We are convinced that, step by step, it will be possible to remove existing suspicion and distrust and cultivate seeds of friendship and practical cooperation between our peoples. On its side, the Soviet Government is always ready to support any good undertakings in this direction and do everything in its power in order that durable peace may be established in the world, so that all nations may live in friendship and without enmity.

John F. Kennedy, Exchange of Greetings With Leaders of the Soviet Union. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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