Richard Nixon photo

Remarks on Arrival at Warsaw, Poland.

May 31, 1972

Mr. Chairman of the Council of Ministers and all of our distinguished guests:

We express our very deep appreciation to you for your generous words of welcome.

This, for me, is a very special moment. While I was here 13 years ago with Mrs. Nixon, I was here then in my capacity as Vice President of the United States. And now, at this very moment, for the first time in the long history and friendly history between our two countries, a President of the United States stands on Polish soil.

It is fitting that this should be so, first, because I bring greetings of friendship from all of the American people to all of the Polish people. And particularly as you, Mr. Chairman, referred to them, I bring you specially warm greetings from millions of Americans who are so proud of their Polish background.

Americans of Polish background have added enormously to the strength and the vitality and the culture of the United States.

But there is also an even more significant reason why the last stop on this journey that I have taken is here in Warsaw, and in Poland. Perhaps no people in all the world, no country in all the world, has suffered more from war than have the Polish people and the Polish nation.

President Eisenhower told me that when he visited Poland as General of the Armies in 1945, that 85 percent of Warsaw had been destroyed. I know that the strong Polish people have rebuilt your great capital city of which you are so justly proud.

But I can assure you that the major purpose of my visit here, and to the other countries that I have visited over the years that I have served in my present office, is to build a new structure of peace in the world. Poland has suffered too much from war and Poland, along with other peoples in the world, wants peace, and that is our goal: to achieve a world of peace for all nations.

I am confident that the talks that I will have with you, Mr. Chairman, and with the other representatives of the Polish Government, will contribute to our common goal of friendship between the American people and the Polish people and of peace for all the world.

Niech zyje Polska. [Long live Poland.]

Note: The President spoke at 4:50 p.m. at Okecie International Airport in response to the welcoming remarks of Piotr Jaroszewicz, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Polish People's Republic. He spoke from a prepared text.

Richard Nixon, Remarks on Arrival at Warsaw, Poland. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/254891

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