Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Joint Statement Following Discussions With the Premier of the Republic of France.

February 28, 1957

PREMIER GUY MOLLET today completed his official visit to Washington where he has been the guest of the United States Government. The purpose of the visit was to permit discussion on a wide range of subjects with President Eisenhower and Secretary of State Dulles. The broad agenda provided a welcome opportunity for the French Prime Minister, French Minister of Foreign Affairs Pineau, the President, and the Secretary of State to engage in a friendly exchange of views in an atmosphere which reflected the long-standing and friendly ties between the two countries.

Premier Mollet explained to President Eisenhower the marked progress which has taken place in the course of the last few months toward creation of a European atomic community-EURATOM--and toward a common European market which will group together 165 million consumers in six European nations. He also informed the President of the French Government's interest in the coming negotiations on a European free trade area in which Great Britain would participate.

President Eisenhower expressed his personal interest in the success of these treaties on European integration, whose entry into effect will represent an important date for all the free world. The President of the United States and the French Premier noted that the creation of a united Europe would contribute to the strengthening of relations between the United States and Europe and would enhance active association to the mutual benefit of the European and American peoples.

With reference to the Middle East, they stated their common conviction that solutions to the problems of the area can be achieved by peaceful means, in conformity with the principles of justice and international law. With regard to the question of the future status of the Suez Canal, they recalled that the 1888 Treaty contemplated a definitive system to guarantee, at all times and to all the powers, the free use of the Canal. In this connection they reaffirmed their adherence to the six requirements unanimously adopted by the United Nations Security Council and accepted by Egypt last October, which called, among other things, for free and open transit through the Canal without discrimination, and the insulation of the operation of the Canal from the politics of any country.

The President and the Premier exchanged views on the political and economic evolution in African territories.

In this regard, Premier Mollet stressed the historic importance of the decision taken by the six European Chiefs of Government to associate the overseas territories with the European Common Market, a decision which bears witness to the desire of Europe to place its industrial potential at the service of the economic development and social progress of Africa and to reinforce the interdependence of the two continents.

In addition, the Premier informed the President of the profound changes which France has brought about in the political structure of her overseas territories with a view to preparing them for the democratic conduct of their own affairs. He reviewed, furthermore, the French program for Algeria.

The President and the Prime Minister were in full accord in their views that such objectives are in conformity with the desire of both Governments to improve living conditions of mankind and to assure them, along with a better standard of living, the benefits of essential democratic liberties.

The President and the Prime Minister took occasion to reaffirm the vital importance of the North Atlantic Pact as a basic element of free world defense. They noted that free world security requires the maintenance on the continent of Europe of forces with conventional armaments and modern weapons at such levels and in such balance as to discourage any aggression against the territories of all NATO countries. They reaffirmed the importance of continuing to support the early reunification of Germany by means of free elections. They were similarly agreed that a common approach must be taken with regard to the threat of Communist imperialism in Europe and in other parts of the world.

In closing, the Premier and the President agreed on the value of these frank and direct talks and expressed their pleasure, as old friends, at meeting again.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Joint Statement Following Discussions With the Premier of the Republic of France. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234119

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