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Remarks on the Departure From the White House of President Pompidou of France

February 26, 1970

Mr. President, Mr. Foreign Minister, Mr. Secretary:

As we conclude our talks, I think back to the time 13 months ago that I assumed this office. I recall then that one of the major objectives of our foreign policy was to restore a better relationship with our oldest ally in the world, the Republic of France.

That process began on the trip to France that I took soon after coming into office, in February, and it has continued in the discussions I have had with President Pompidou on this occasion, and the discussions that Secretary Rogers and others in the State, Defense, and Treasury Departments have had with the members of the President's party.

I can say now that I believe we have made very great progress over this past year in restoring the kind of relationship that should exist between two nations whose alliance over a period of 190 years has consistently served the cause of peace and the cause of freedom in the world.

We have not agreed on everything, but we have found that our areas of agreement are greater than they were when our talks began, and we have established channels of communication for further discussions that we believe will be very productive and constructive, not only in our bilateral relationship but also in the ability of our two nations to work together for peace and stability in all areas of the world.

And Mr. President, as you leave here and go first to Florida and then to California, then to Chicago and back to New York, I can assure you that the great majority of our people will welcome you as the President of the nation that has been our oldest ally and our oldest friend. And we know that as you travel through our country that you will sense that welcome and when you return to France, we want you to extend to the people of your country the warmest good wishes of the people of the United States.

Note: The President spoke at 12:40 p.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House. In his opening words he referred to Maurice Schumann, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, and William P. Rogers, Secretary of State.

See also Items 52, 53, 56, 60, and 65.

President Pompidou responded in French. A translation of his remarks follows:

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary:

I really don't see what I could add to what you have just so aptly put and said.

Indeed, France and the United States are countries who are linked both by bonds of friendship and of alliance, and you have marked this decidedly when you acceded to the supreme post of President of the United States by coming to Europe and laying the foundation with General de Gaulle of this rapprochement between our two countries, let's say, in order to dispel the few clouds that might have accumulated in recent years and in order to enable our two countries to work in the wide cooperation in the service of peace and world equilibrium while retaining their own personalities and their independence.

I must say that I have been deeply moved, and all my suite, too, and also the Foreign Minister of France, by the direct, the spontaneous, and very warm welcome we have received from everybody.
And I have been deeply honored by the welcome I received from the Congress yesterday.
Your welcome, Mr. President, and that of Mrs. Nixon, and all members of the U.S. administration whom we have met, went to our heart, and all the talks we have had either with you, Mr. President, or with members of your administration, have been extremely cordial, frank, and fruitful.

And when the President of the French Republic comes to Washington, obviously it is a friend who comes to the United States, and on the point of leaving Washington now, to go on with my trip through your great country, I also leave as a friend of President Nixon.

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

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