Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks of the President and Prime Minister Rabin of Israel at a Reception Honoring the President.

January 29, 1976

Mr. Prime Minister and Mrs. Rabin:

I am delighted to be here and to see so many, many of your friends. We, of course, are very pleased that you are in the United States. I feel, as you do, that the discussions we have had in the 3 days have been very meaningful. I believe they will be very productive. It has been a fine experience for me to renew our personal friendship that existed over a period of years when you were the Ambassador for Israel. It has been for you, I am sure, a great experience to renew your acquaintances with your many, many friends on Capitol Hill. And I am certain, from what I have heard from some of my old friends, your presentation to the Congress yesterday in joint session was outstanding. In fact, I heard it was so good that I am not sure I want to make a State of the Union up there. [Laughter]

But let me reiterate what we have said both privately and publicly. The United States, at the present time, as it has been under five previous Presidents, is dedicated to the survival and the security of Israel. We mean it. At the same time, we are dedicated to working with you in moving forward to real peace in the Middle East.

You have been staunch and steadfast in your dedication on behalf of your country and at the same time have shown great statesmanship and leadership in that very difficult area of the world. I can't thank you enough for the opportunity to work with you in the efforts that involve both your country and ours, aimed at the achievement of the kind of life that is needed and necessary for all peoples in the Middle East.

You have done an outstanding job as an Ambassador, and it is a great pleasure and privilege for me to work with you on behalf of what we all have to do in that very difficult area--the Middle East.

I thank you for the hospitality tonight. t hope and trust, as I am sure it will be, that as you travel around the United States in the next 7 days, you will receive as warm a welcome everywhere as you have received in our Nation's Capital.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at approximately 7:10 p.m. in the Regency Ballroom at the Shoreham Americana Hotel in response to the Prime Minister, who spoke as follows:

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen:

I would like to thank you, Mr. President, for your kind invitation to come as official guests of you to this country. I would like to thank you very much for the time that you have allotted for the discussion that we have had in the last 3 days about the problems that we face in our region and in the effort to move towards peace,

I am sure that the talks have helped and, I hope, will advance the cause of peace, I think these kind of relations that you offer to me on a personal basis as well as in the relations between our two countries will be an encouragement to the cause of peace in the area. And I would like to thank you very, very much for your personal interest, personal help in doing so.

And, Mr. President, towards the end of my visit in Washington, again, thank you very, very much.

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks of the President and Prime Minister Rabin of Israel at a Reception Honoring the President. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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