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Remarks on Departure From Rome

February 28, 1969

Mr. Prime Minister and Your Excellencies:

As we leave Rome I want you to know how deeply grateful I am for the hospitality that has been extended to us on our visit and how reassured I am by our conversations with the President, with you, and with members of your government with regard to the future relations between the United States and Italy, and also with regard to the great possibilities for constructive mutual action on the part of both of our peoples for the cause of peace in the years ahead.

We have discussed the whole range of world problems--the problems of East-West relations, the problems of the Mideast and Mediterranean, financial problems, and trade problems, as well as many others.

It has been very helpful to me to get the counsel and the suggestions that you and the members of your government have with regard to the position the United States should take on these problems, as well as getting your views on our bilateral relationships.

I realized, before I came to this city, that there had been complaints in the past that there has not been enough consultation by the Government of the United States with your government on matters that involve our future peace and security.

Whatever the validity of that complaint may have been in the past, I can assure you that there will be no problem in that respect in the future, because we have established, by this meeting, one consultation on all the major issues with which we are concerned; and, second, a pattern for conferences in the future involving our finance ministers, our trade ministers, the Prime Ministers, the Presidents, whereby on a continuing and regular basis we will discuss the major issues and be sure that we move together toward our common objectives.

As always on my visits to Rome, the climate has been good, the hospitality has been superb, but most important the substance has been solid and we have now developed a new pattern of consultation and progress for the future.

Note: The President spoke at 12 noon at Ciampino Military Airport in Rome. An advance text of the President's remarks is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 5, P. 345).

Prime Minister Mariano Rumor responded in Italian. A translation follows:

Mr. President, as you are leaving Italy, it gives me great pleasure to convey to you the warmest farewell of the Italian people, of the people, of the government, as well as my own. We are aware of the importance and the significance of your visit to Europe, undertaken at the beginning of your mandate which confirms the common ideals and objectives of freedom and peace binding the United States to the free countries of Europe.

Your visit to our country in particular has once again shown the firmness of the ties of friendship which have for long united the United States and Italy in every field, and which are at the basis of our alliance which remains an essential point of reference of Italian foreign policy.

Moreover, you have been able to realize, Mr. President, that another fundamental basis of this foreign policy is the untiring activity of the Italian Government in the construction of that European unity, with the consent of Europe itself, to undertake a more decisive and determining role in the solution of those problems which harass mankind.

Your visit has also emphasized the importance of an ever closer cooperation between friendly countries and allies so as to strengthen and consolidate that Western solidarity which is one of the fundamental conditions for the enhancement and the acceleration of the pursuit of a detente policy.

The discussions which you, Mr. President, propose to hold with the Soviet Union will be a great contribution toward this end, and for the settlement of the problems which trouble the life of the people and for the construction of a more stable and peaceful international order.

The conversations and the exchange of views which we have had with you and your collaborators represent a further contribution toward our common action which is directed toward reaching ever more effectively the consolidation of peace in freedom and in justice.

This is, in fact, our first objective for the achievement of which we propose to act as we have always done in the conviction that we shall fulfill the highest duty of all those men who are conscious of the future of mankind.

The knowledge that in pursuing this difficult task we can count on the full cooperation of the United States is for us a source of great satisfaction and confidence that all our efforts will bear positive results. It is in the spirit of frankness and friendship that has characterized our meetings that I renew to you, Mr. President, and to the great American Nation, our warmest farewell.

I am happy to add my sincerest wish that your important mission will always be accompanied by every success in the interest of the American people and the people of the friendly countries, and of peace in the world.

Richard Nixon, Remarks on Departure From Rome Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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