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Remarks of President Reagan and French President Francois Mitterrand Following a Working Luncheon in Paris

June 03, 1982

President Mitterrand. Ladies and gentlemen, today we have received the President of the United States, Mr. Ronald Reagan. Mr. Reagan has already been in France in his personal capacity—on a personal visit— but it's the first time that we've had the very great pleasure of receiving here officially the first of the Americans.

We have had an exchange of views during this lunch, which has been a friendly occasion, but it has also been a working lunch. And we have been accompanied by our aides. And I wish simply to say that-for France, I want to say this to the French press and also to the foreign press—that we are extremely happy that this day should have come about. For France it is a great event, a great day that we should have in our midst Mr. Ronald Reagan.

Now, tomorrow the work of the summit itself will be beginning, but today is truly a Franco-American event—with this lunch today, contacts between people in positions of responsibility on both sides, and tonight a dinner at the United States Embassy.

My purpose in speaking right now is simply to say how very warmly we wish to welcome in our midst Mr. Ronald Reagan, President of the United States. Thank you.

President Reagan. Well, Mr. President, thank you very much.

Ladies and gentlemen, as the President has said, we resumed here discussions that began a few weeks ago in Washington. We touched upon the areas of tension that concern us both, the Falklands, Central America, the Middle East. We did not get into heavy discussions, because those are reserved for the meetings at Versailles that begin tomorrow, when we will be there with our colleagues from the other nations in the alliance and the other industrial nations.

So, this has been a combination of a very happy resumption of a personal friendship, as well, as I say, just touching upon some of the events which will be thoroughly discussed in the next 2 days, 3 days.

And I just want to take this opportunity to thank President Mitterrand and the people of France for the warm hospitality that we have enjoyed and are enjoying here and thank him for hosting again the eighth in this series of meetings between the leaders and representatives of the industrial nations.

So, merci beaucoup.

Note: President Mitterrand spoke at 3:40 p.m. to reporters assembled at a rear terrace of the Elysee Palace. He spoke in French, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter. The two Presidents and their delegations, including Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury Donald T. Began, French Prime Minister Pierre Mauroy, Minister of External Relations Claude Cheysson, Minister of Economy and Finance Jacques Delors, and other U.S. and French officials, hem the luncheon in the Salle des Aides de Camps in the Palace.

Following his remarks, President Reagan returned to the residence of U.S. Ambassador to France Evan G. Galbraith, where he and Mrs. Reagan stayed after their arrival in Paris the night of June 2.

Earlier in the day, the President met at the residence with Secretary Haig, Secretary Began, members of the White House staff, and U.S. officials to prepare for the discussions with President Mitterrand and the Versailles Economic Summit Conference. He also met with Sharon Ray, whose husband, Lt. Col. Charles R. Bay, Assistant Army Attaché in Paris, had been murdered in the city on January 18.

Ronald Reagan, Remarks of President Reagan and French President Francois Mitterrand Following a Working Luncheon in Paris Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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