Gerald R. Ford photo

Exchange of Remarks With President Luis Echeverria Alvarez of Mexico at Nogales, Mexico.

October 21, 1974

Mr. President, amigos :

I am delighted to be here this morning to meet with you on our border at Nogales. I am delighted and highly honored to participate in these meetings today, which will be partly held in Mexico and partly held in the United States, which symbolize, Mr. President, the relationship between our two countries.

It is a working partnership of mutual cooperation which exemplifies the spirit behind the new dialog into which we have entered with all nations of Latin America and which we will not forget, Mr. President, which started last year at Tlatelolco in Mexico City.

In our meetings today, Mr. President, let us give new meaning to the special relationship of us as two good neighbors--Mexico and the United States-through frank and friendly consultations.

It is very significant, Mr. President, that my first trip outside of the United States as President of our country is to Mexico--our longtime friend and very good neighbor. It provides a living demonstration of how we are inextricably linked by historical ties, by geographical position, by our mutual desire to be good neighbors.

It is my fervent wish that this meeting will mark the beginning of a very close personal relationship between us and contribute to the close cooperation and the very friendly relation of our peoples and our Governments.

Our relationship is of very great mutual benefit. Each of our countries, Mr. President, receives much from the other--material goods of all kinds, increased understanding through tourism and cultural exchanges, and the enrichment of human life and consciousness through expanded knowledge and warm, warm friendship.

This exchange is especially evident in the border area. I thank all of you who have come here to welcome me and to see this spirit of friendship which exists between President Echeverria and myself, representing our two countries.

Actually, we witness today the flow of people, goods, food, music, art, and language. We note the existence of a binational commission--not one, but several-and binational groups of many kinds. We see the efforts by people on both sides of the border to work together in a joint effort to solve the everyday problems of their respective lives.

There are countless other instances demonstrating the strong, the vital, the flourishing and friendly relations that exist between us. And in this border area, Mr. President, we also see living examples of how two governments disposed to work together in good will can meet and solve problems.

Along our common border, we have jointly faced and together resolved problems of flood control, sanitation, minor border adjustments necessitated by the vagaries of the Rio Grande.

We are extremely proud, Mr. President, of our recent resolution of long-standing and complex issues involving the salinity of the water of the Colorado River delivered to your country. Our successful efforts in these areas over the past few years are precedents for the solution of problems that may arise in the future. We must continue to draw upon the spirit of mutual respect, good will which made this cooperation possible in the past.

Mr. President, let us today consider how we can cooperate in solving common problems which will result in a better and better life for the people of our two countries and for all the people everywhere.

Muchas gracias.

Note: The President spoke at 9:45 a.m. in response to President Echeverria's remarks of welcome. Following a wreath-laying ceremony at the monument to Benito Juarez, the two Presidents flew to Magdelena de Kino, Mexico, where they laid a wreath at the tomb of Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino and held the first of two meetings. They then flew to Tubac, Ariz., for a luncheon and the conclusion of their meetings.

President Echeverria spoke in Spanish. His remarks were translated by an interpreter as follows:
Your Excellency, Mr. Gerald Ford, President of the United States of America:

We bid you welcome to Mexico. The people of Mexico receive you with the expression of their friendship for the American people. Through me, our people wish to offer you the most cordial welcome, to convey a cordial greeting which we would ask you to take back with you for all the American people.

Coexistence between Mexico and the United States of America has been a long one. We have an extensive borderline between us. And all along this border for a long time now, the sometimes dramatic and even tragic problems have been left behind.

During the last decades, it has been possible to solve the problems that affect us both through civilized practices by applying norms of law and of reciprocal respect. And now during the very difficult period that the entire world is living through, we both, the United States, in these difficult times, and Mexico, are making efforts so that our coexistence will be a harmonious one, an understanding one, and a respectful one.

In our country, within our country domestically, we are struggling to foster social justice in accordance with old moral guidelines and with a spirit of cooperation which we believe would benefit all the countries of the world.

Internationally, we struggle to achieve norms of cooperation, balance, understanding on the part of each nation for all other countries. In Mexico, we believe that inflation is only one of the manifestations of lack of balance between the interests of the one and the other--between the rich and the poor, between the people that are just developing and the industrialized countries. We feel that we have to reach an equilibrium in order to fight against these problems. And we believe that it is possible that we can trust international relations and that we can find a system of cooperation that would lead to international balance, that would lead to peace and not to War.

We should understand that whatever problem comes up in any corner of the world--in Asia, Africa, Oceania, Latin America--are problems that affect all of us, even the richest and most industrialized countries, because we must understand that the destiny of mankind is one and indivisible.

President Ford, this is the doctrine of Mexico, sir, with which we receive you with great cordiality. We want you to feel at home among us.

Gerald R. Ford, Exchange of Remarks With President Luis Echeverria Alvarez of Mexico at Nogales, Mexico. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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