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Remarks on the Departure of Chancellor Kiesinger From the White House

August 08, 1969

Mr. Chancellor, ladies and gentlemen:

I want to express on behalf of all of us who have had the opportunity to talk to you and your colleagues our appreciation for your making this journey and for paying us this visit.

Our talks in February in Bonn were extremely useful, and our talks here in Washington have been equally useful--even more so, because we were able to go into matters that then we could only touch upon at the beginning. We were further along and we were able to get into more depth and more detail.

As we complete these talks, I would say first that the joint statement that has been issued sets forth some of the substance. Beyond that, I would add that the bilateral relations between our two countries have never been closer. They will continue to be close, because we are friends, we are allies, and each country is proud of that alliance and of that friendship and will seek to maintain it.

However, clearly beyond our bilateral relations, we are glad that you came, because it was very valuable for me to get your views on the situation in Europe generally, and in the world. It is vitally important that we recognize that the best thinking of the world's statesmen must be applied to the terribly difficult problems we face in the world.

Finally, I would say that when I speak of our alliance, it is truly an alliance in the very best sense. It threatens no one. It is an alliance which is strong enough to defend ourselves, but also strong enough to negotiate with those who might oppose us, negotiate as freely, as candidly, as openly as we possibly can with the thought that we can reduce those tensions that divide the world; that we can bring down the barriers that divide the world and that divide Europe. This is our goal, and I believe we have made progress in achieving that goal.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 12:13 p.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House. See also Items 316, 318, and 321.

Chancellor Kiesinger responded in German. A translation of his remarks follows:

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen:

May I say first that I and my countrymen who are here are deeply impressed by the cordiality and generosity of the hospitality we found here, which you gave us, and likewise deeply impressed by the results of our consultations.

I was very glad that we had no difficult bilateral problems to talk about, so we found time to cover all the field of world politics.

I must confess, Mr. President, that you, in a masterful way, portrayed this picture of world politics which impressed me deeply. It is a very sound policy. I just said to you, listening to you when you summarized the results of our discussions, that I should have wanted our people to listen, to be able to listen to you, because I am quite sure that that would have been most valuable because they would have seen that the leading power of the West is led by a statesman of clear and realistic outlook.

I am glad to say that I fully agree with what you said in our talks, and that is not only a polite formula. I am quite sure that this visit will contribute to strengthening the bonds of friendship and cooperation between our two countries, within NATO and outside NATO.

I wish you full success, Mr. President, in whatever you have started to do. Thank you.

Richard Nixon, Remarks on the Departure of Chancellor Kiesinger From the White House Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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