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Remarks Prior to Discussions With President Eduardo Frei of Chile and an Exchange With Reporters

February 26, 1997

President Clinton. Let me say very briefly that President Frei and I are going to have a press conference after this meeting of ours, and we'll answer your questions then. But I want to welcome him to the United States and once again to point out the truly astonishing record that Chile has established in the last several years in growing a powerful democracy and having remarkable economic growth and reducing poverty. And we are especially glad that Chile has agreed to host the next Summit of the Americas meetings in Santiago in 1994, following up on the one that we had, of course, in Miami— in 1998, they'll be in 1998—the one we had in Miami in 1994.

And Mr. President, we're glad to have you here and we thank you very much for everything you've done. And we look forward to a unique partnership.

President Frei. I would like to specially thank the invitation and especially now at this point when the relations between Chile and the United States are so especially outstanding and promising.

Thank you for this being an invitation, the first one in your second term. And I'm sure we'll have the opportunity to discuss major issues on restrengthening our democracy, growth—sustained economic growth, alleviation of poverty, and the advantages we have experienced as being an open economy.

We begin this visit with tremendous confidence, optimism, and as true partners. And we will be expecting you in March of next year at the second Summit of the Americas.

President Clinton. I'll be there.

Q. Mr. President, during the ceremony, Chairman Greenspan was on the Hill expressing some deep concerns about the direction of the market. Do you share that concern?

President Clinton. I'll answer questions at the press conference. Thank you.

Q. Are you going to call Senator Torricelli? Are you going to call Senator Torricelli about——

Vice President Gore. Gracias. Vamos.

Q. ——amendment?

President Clinton. That's a good question. [Laughter]

[At this point, one group of reporters left the room, and another group entered.]

President Clinton. Let me begin by saying again how deeply honored I am that President Frei is here and that he has favored the United States with our first state visit of my second term as President. We believe we have established a genuine partnership with Chile that will only deepen in the years ahead.

The American people are terribly impressed by the remarkable transformation of Chile in the last several years, the growth of the deep democracy, the powerful economic advances, the reduction in poverty, the assumption of leadership by Chile in the region and in the world. And I'm looking forward to building on that partnership. And again let me say I'm very pleased that President Frei is here at my first state visit in my second term.

President Frei. I would like to thank you once again, Mr. President, for this invitation to this state visit, the first one of your second term. We've come here with great optimism at a time where the relations between the United States and Chile are at its utmost.

We are partners not only in this hemisphere, but globally we have been working as partners. We want to keep on working together in furtherance of democracy and to defeat poverty in the end. Chile has a rich experience in foreign trade, and we plan to share that as well.

Thank you for the warm welcome and for your kind words about my father, Mr. President. Thank you, and we will continue to consolidate together democracy. And we expect you in March of next year when you come to the Summit of the Americas.

Q. President Clinton, will you——

Vice President Gore. We're going to wait for the press conference.

President Clinton. We'll do questions, and they'll be equally divided at the press conference.

NOTE: The President spoke at 10:28 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

William J. Clinton, Remarks Prior to Discussions With President Eduardo Frei of Chile and an Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/223766

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