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Remarks Following a Meeting With Prime Minister Thatcher of the United Kingdom

December 17, 1979

THE PRESIDENT. Prime Minister Thatcher and I have had very extensive and very productive conversations, even negotiations on a few points. There are no differences between us that cause any concern among Americans or people who live in Great Britain. We've reached agreement on a few items which we have discussed.

We have had long discussions about Iran. I've expressed again my thanks to the Prime Minister about the strong and unequivocal support on that issue. We've expressed our admiration and appreciation for the progress that has been made by her and by Lord Carrington in negotiating for a peaceful and democratic settlement in Rhodesia and again pledged our full support in their efforts in that difficult issue.

We've discussed the appreciation that we feel for the British for their strong support for SALT II, the strong role that they played in developing the theater nuclear force agreement among the European nations, Atlantic Alliance, in the last few days. We discussed matters of trade and commerce and the future of our two countries in dealing with the problem of energy.

In every instance we have made good progress. There are very few, if any, differences between the people of Great Britain and the people of the United States. It's a delight for us to have her here, and she will be meeting with some of our congressional leaders and some of the Cabinet officers this afternoon. I will be with her again tonight.

We are very grateful that you've come, Madame Prime Minister, and we look forward to seeing you this afternoon, this evening, at the banquet. And in the meantime our officials will be discussing matters with one another.

Thank you again for being with me. Perhaps you'd like to make a statement for the press.

THE PRIME MINISTER. Thank you. Mr. President, I would like really to confirm what you've said, how well and how easily the talks and discussions went. I don't find that surprising in any way. We, after all, share very similar views about the importance of defending freedom under the law and therefore the importance of giving defense a good deal of priority in our national programs. We notice what the President has done for defense over here, and we've felt that we in Great Britain have been able to respond, and we also put it in the forefront of our election program.

We are particularly grateful to the President for the great help we have had in trying to bring the Rhodesian problem to a successful settlement and a successful conclusion. At all stages we've kept in touch with the President and with Secretary Vance, and they've been most helpful.

Of course a large part of our discussions were taken up with Iran, for reasons which everyone in the whole world will understand. And we indicated very clearly to the President that when the United States wishes to go to the Security Council for further powers under chapter seven, Great Britain will be the first to support him in his endeavors. You'd expect nothing less, and you will receive nothing less but our full support.

Naturally, we're concerned about energy, the Middle East, the future of oil supplies, and we've talked too about that. You all look now just a little bit chilly, so perhaps I can conclude those—so am I —those few comments with everything went extremely well. We're very happy to be here, very grateful to the President for giving us so much of his time, and we felt that everything went just as you would expect it to go between America and Great Britain, and that couldn't be more satisfactory.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 12:48 p.m. on the South Grounds of the White House.

Jimmy Carter, Remarks Following a Meeting With Prime Minister Thatcher of the United Kingdom Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/248295

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