Richard Nixon photo

Remarks on Departure for Belgium and the Soviet Union

June 25, 1974


As you probably know, the official send-off will be at Andrews this morning. But I am delighted to see all the members of the White House Staff up bright and early working. And I do want to wish you the 'very best over the Fourth of July. I hope it is very good weather wherever you are, whether here working or whether some other place where you may go for a vacation. In any event, we know that we go on these trips and wish all of you could go along. But you are with us in spirit, and that helps a great deal.


Members of the Cabinet, members of the diplomatic corps, and ladies and gentlemen:

I first want to express my appreciation to all of you for taking the time to come out to see us as we take off on another journey for peace: This time, we go first to Brussels, as you know, and then to Moscow.

Our purpose in Brussels will be to meet with old friends and to renew our support of the great NATO alliance which for 25 years has been responsible for and indispensable for keeping the peace in Europe. We expect to give new purpose and new direction to that alliance on the occasion of visiting with the heads of government of most of the NATO countries.

From Brussels, we go on to Moscow. There, we shall have the opportunity to meet again with General Secretary Brezhnev and his colleagues. The purpose of this summit meeting, as was the purpose of the other two--the first in Moscow 2 years ago, and in Washington and in other parts of the United States last year--is threefold: first, we expect to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two strongest nations in the world; second, we hope to develop areas of cooperation to displace confrontation in other critical areas of the world that might be those places where conflict could develop between the two great powers; and third, we hope to make more progress on a goal that we began to achieve and move forward toward in 1972, of limiting both the burden and also the threat of nuclear arms over our two nations and over the world generally.

These are very great goals, and like all great goals, they are very difficult to achieve, just as was the case of the goals we sought to achieve on our first trip to the Mideast. But we are confident that when we look at these goals, not only must we seek to achieve them but we believe that we can achieve them, because when we speak of the two strongest nations, the Soviet Union and the United States, cooperation between these two great peoples is indispensable if we are to build a structure of peace in the world that will last.

And we know that with American strength, American resolve, and above all, American determination and dedication, that we will be able to make progress on this long but vitally important "Journey for Peace," not only for America but for all mankind.

We have appreciated particularly the messages that we have received before each of these trips from people all over America, because your prayers, your good wishes for our success means that the American people, the great majority, are united behind the efforts we are making to attempt to resolve differences that otherwise would lead to a runaway arms race, that otherwise would lead to confrontation not only between two great powers but all over the world, that otherwise would dash all the hopes and the ideals that Americans have had from the beginning of this country, the ideal of a world of peace so that we can devote the energies of all great peoples to the works of peace and not simply to preparing for war.

Thank you.

Note: Following his remarks at 8:12 a.m. on the South Lawn of the White House, the President and Mrs. Nixon left by helicopter for Andrews Air Force Base, Md., where he spoke at 8:32 a.m.

Richard Nixon, Remarks on Departure for Belgium and the Soviet Union Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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