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Exchange of Remarks With President Ceausescu of Romania on Signing a Joint Statement of Principles.

December 05, 1973

Mr. President and ladies and gentlemen:

As you know, we have had statements of principles that we have signed with major nations--with the Soviet Union, with the People's Republic of China. In this case we sign a statement of principles with Romania--Romania, which in the scale of size of population, is a smaller country. But on the other hand, the fact that this statement of principles is signed between Romania and the United States has a very deep significance, and that significance is that while the United States considers its relations with major powers to be of enormous importance in terms of building a structure of peace in the world, we also consider it a cornerstone of our foreign policy that any agreements that we make must never be at the expense of the sovereignty and of the independence of smaller nations.

Our relations with Romania have been particularly close during this Administration, due to the personal relationship that I have enjoyed with President Ceausescu, and we have seen growth in our economic communications as well as in a number of other areas, as demonstrated by the agreements that were signed yesterday. But today, as we complete the signing of this document, we are, in effect, saying to the whole world that as far as the United States is concerned, we believe that the survival of nations, no matter how small, no matter how weak they might be militarily, the survival of nations, proud of their sovereignty, proud of their independence, is essential to building a structure of peace in the world, one that we can be proud of. And so, for that reason, we thought that having the ceremony here in the Cabinet Room with the members of our Cabinet and the members of the President's official party here was particularly appropriate.

Note: The President spoke at 11:19 a.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House.

President Ceausescu spoke in Romanian. His remarks were translated by an interpreter as follows:

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen:

The signing of the joint declaration between the United States and Romania marks a new stage in the relations between our two countries.

It is true that in the last few years, and in particular after the visit paid by President Nixon to Romania, the relations between Romania and the United States have seen a strong development in all fields of activity. These very days we have signed several documents and agreements on our economic cooperation and we adopted a statement on the principles of our economic cooperation. Today we sign this declaration which places at the basis of the cooperation between Romania and the United States the principles which are asserting themselves ever more strongly in international affairs. As such, they are the only principles apt to insure a lasting and just peace in the world, such as equal rights, respect for the sovereignty and independence of each nation, noninterference in the internal affairs, mutual advantage and renunciation of force and of any threat with force in the settlement of international issues.

The signing of this declaration between our two countries--countries having different social systems, and which are different in size-is an important event which at the same time confirms the deep, growing changes which now occur in the world and which are accelerated today.

We should like to see the significance of this document expand in the world and demonstrate that in the world today, it is indeed possible for all countries, big, medium size, or small, to work together in full equality and to have the right of each nation asserted for its development according to its own wishes so that a better world, a world with more justice, will be built for all.

There is no doubt that the happily existing relations between the United States and Romania have reached the present stage also due to the fact that President Nixon and myself have established good relations of cooperation and friendship, and that the President of the United States, himself, has taken action in trying to apply these principles in the mutual relations with Romania.

We dearly wish that the declaration we have signed today should form the lasting basis for the friendship between our two nations and should contribute at the same time to international peace and cooperation.

Richard Nixon, Exchange of Remarks With President Ceausescu of Romania on Signing a Joint Statement of Principles. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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