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Remarks on Arrival at Madrid, Spain

October 02, 1970

General Franco, Seiora Franco, Your Excellencies, friends of Spain and the United States:

I am most honored to be the first American President to visit Spain since President Eisenhower was here in 1959.

I recall my previous visits to this country and the warm welcome that we have received. As I stand here I bring to all of the people of Spain the best wishes of all the people of the United States.

We Americans owe a great deal to Spain. We remember that it was Spanish explorers who played such a great role in the exploration and the development of the New World; and we in the United States, with diverse people and diverse culture, owe a great debt to the Spanish culture and people of Spanish background who have contributed so much to our Nation.

Since 1953, we have been partners together in defense in the Mediterranean area, and over this past period, particularly in the past 10 years, we have seen increasing economic cooperation between Spain and the United States.

I am confident that the talks we will have here, with you, General Franco, and with the members of your cabinet, will contribute to closer cooperation, both in defense for peace and economic cooperation which will mean progress for all of our people in Spain and in the United States.

In recent weeks, the eyes of the world have been on the Mediterranean area. If we do not have peace in the Mediterranean, world peace will be very seriously threatened. An indispensable pillar for peace in the Mediterranean is Spanish-American friendship and cooperation. For that reason, I say, as I begin my visit to Spain, Viva la amistad Hispano-Americana.

Note: The President spoke at 12:15 p.m. at Barajas Airport in response to General Francisco Franco's welcoming remarks.

The transcript of remarks by Press Secretary Ronald L. Ziegler to Spanish reporters about the President's trip was released the same day and is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 6, p. 1329).

General Franco spoke in Spanish. A translation of his remarks, which was posted for the press, follows:

Mr. President:

In the name of the Government and the people of Spain I wish to extend to you a most cordial and friendly welcome.

It was very kind of you to accept my invitation to come to Spain and it is a great honour to have you with us, in the company of your charming wife and the distinguished members of your party.

This is not the first time you have come to this country. You have had before the opportunity to see our cities, our regions-so filled with memories and evocations of the past for an American--and above all, you have met our people and you have been able to appreciate the affection and admiration they feel towards your people, your character, your history.

Today, when you arrive in our capital as President of the United States, for a visit of good will, friendship, and cooperation, which confirms and symbolizes the spirit of the agreement recently concluded between our two nations, my colleagues in the Government and myself, as well as the people of Madrid that welcome you, will try to make your stay a pleas. ant one, and we trust it will prove as fruitful and successful as we wish and hope it to be.

Once again, Mr. President, a most sincere welcome to Spain.

Richard Nixon, Remarks on Arrival at Madrid, Spain Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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