Bill Clinton photo

Remarks on Arrival in San Jose, Costa Rica

May 07, 1997

President Figueres, Mrs. Figueres, members of the Costa Rican delegation, and let me say a special word of thanks to the students and to the National Youth Symphony for giving us such a warm welcome. Thank you very much. I am pleased and honored to be in Costa Rica for the very first time and to experience firsthand your unique tradition of greeting foreign leaders not with a military salute but with the cheers of your wonderful young people.

Costa Rica's steadfast devotion to peace and democracy and your commitment to education and to the preservation of your marvelous environment have long been a model for the stable, democratic, and prosperous hemisphere we are working to build together.

This is a moment of great opportunity and hope for all the Americas, but especially here in Central America where decades of conflict and division have given way to peace and cooperation. That new reality helps to open a new era of partnership between the United States, the nations of Central America, and the Dominican Republic. Over the next 2 days, I look forward to working with President Figueres and our fellow leaders to strengthen democracy, expand the reach of free and fair trade, and improve the life of all of our people.

Mr. President, I honestly believe the young people here and in my country and throughout our region will have more opportunities to live out their dreams than any generation of young people in history, if we do our jobs.

On behalf of Hillary and myself and our entire American delegation, let me thank you again for making us all feel so at home. Muchas gracias. Nos vemos mañana. [Thank you very much. We'll see you tomorrow.]

NOTE: The President spoke at 10:26 p.m. at Juan Santa Maria International Airport. In his remarks, he referred to President Jose Maria Figueres of Costa Rica and his wife, Josette Altmann de Figueres.

William J. Clinton, Remarks on Arrival in San Jose, Costa Rica Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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