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Remarks on Departure From Spain

October 03, 1970

Generalissimo Franco, Mrs. Franco, Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen:

As we leave the soil of Spain, Mrs. Nixon and I and the members of our party will take with us unforgettable memories--memories of the official welcome that we received, of the talks that we have had which have contributed to our thinking on the major world problems and to better relations between our two countries, and of the outpouring of the sentiment and affection that we felt from the people of Spain when we passed through the streets of Madrid yesterday and this morning.

We feel, too, that as we leave this country that this visit marks the culmination of a series of discussions which will make 1970 a year that we will look back on in both Spain and the United States as the beginning of a new era of increased cooperation, increased friendship in all areas between the United States and Spain.

I hope that the administration which I now head will be able to work toward that end so that this great country may have the complete cooperation of the United States as it moves forward in economic progress and in all areas of human life.

And finally, may I say in a personal sense that I appear here on this occasion as the President of the United States. I recall in 1963 when my wife and I, our two daughters, were here as private citizens. I recall then that the friendly reception we received from the people of Spain was just as warm as when I held this high office. And that tells us something about this country, about its people that we shall always remember. It is a great country of friendly people.

I look forward to returning either in an official capacity, and, if not that, always as one like the millions of other Americans who come here as tourists, to one of the most friendly countries we can visit in any part of the world.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at approximately 9:10 a.m. at Barajas Airport in response to the remarks of General Franco who spoke in Spanish. A translation of the General's remarks, made available by the Spanish Embassy in Washington, follows:

Mr. President:

The time has come for us to say goodby, after the intense and crowded hours which you spent in Spain.

Your great responsibilities and duties urgently call you. The demands of the times are very great, and for this reason we understand perfectly that it has not been possible for you to prolong your stay in Madrid awhile longer, as we would have liked you to do.

Your visit has proved a most fruitful one for both our governments and nations. We have had an opportunity to examine together the principal world problems in which we have a common interest, to appreciate the wide areas of conformity which exist and the favorable outlook for a coordination of our respective policies.

The agreement recently signed and the periodic consultations provided in that document, between the heads of our departments of foreign affairs and other representatives of our Governments, should benefit our two countries and will provide an opportunity to contribute together to the maintenance of peace among the nations of the world.

Mr. President, please remember that leave behind you good friends in this country, who wish you and your distinguished wife, as well as the rest of your distinguished party, a happy continuation of your tour and a most happy return to your country and to your families.

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

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