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Remarks of the President and Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of the Federal Republic of Germany Following Their Meetings

May 22, 1981

The President. Ladies and gentlemen of the press, the time has come to me to say goodby to our visitor here. I just want to tell you that we have had fine meetings, and we have an understanding that there will be full consultation and cooperation between us, as there properly should be between friends and allies.

We have been in agreement on the various issues that confront us, ranging from the matters of the problems in Eastern Europe, Poland, of the theater nuclear forces, and the fact that we are going forward with arms limitation talks also, with the Warsaw Pact and with the Soviet Union. All of these things and all of these problems were discussed, and I think we've established a cordial relationship and a friendship that bodes very well for the future and for the West.

Mr. Chancellor, it's been a great pleasure to have you here and Mrs. Schmidt here, and we hope that there will be repeated visits and exchanges.

The Chancellor. Thank you very much, sir.

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to agree with every line that the President just relayed to you. The amount of mutual understanding you can measure by the secret which I'm going to disclose right now. The President had a lengthy speech—a lengthy paper prepared for him by the White House staff, and I was without any such paper. And I said, "This is unfair." And he dropped it immediately.

So, you see, we really did not only agree on such more peripheral issues, but we did agree on the substance of policies whether it is, as the President said, vis-a-vis the Soviet Union and their allies, whether it is in concern of such specific problems as Eastern Europe right now or Afghanistan or the Gulf or the Middle East or Africa or Latin America, Central America, or whether it is in the other fields in which we have mutual interests and shall cooperate in the future.

I would like, Mr. President, also on behalf of my delegation and also on behalf of my wife, to thank you personally, to thank the Vice President, to thank the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the other Cabinet members, to thank all of the hosts in Washington for the warm and cordial welcome not only but also regarding the free uninhibited exchange of views.

I'm not so sure, it's about my 45th or 46th or 47th visit to the United States. It was the fourth time that I had the privilege of meeting you, Mr. President, the first time in your new capacity as the head of state and head of government of the most important nation of the world, the greatest nation. I, to some degree, feel at home in the United States and at home in Washington, D.C. I felt very much at home these 2 days, and I will get back to my people, get back to my parliament, will report to the German Parliament Tuesday next week on how much did we agree on very difficult matters in worldwide politics.

It is due to my lacking a paper, ladies and gentlemen—and I apologize, Mr. President-of speaking so long, but what I really want to project towards the ladies and gentlemen of the press is how deeply satisfied I am about this visit.

Thank you very much again, Mr. President.

Note: The President spoke at 12:05 p.m. to reporters assembled on the South Grounds of the White House.

Ronald Reagan, Remarks of the President and Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of the Federal Republic of Germany Following Their Meetings Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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