Jimmy Carter photo

Remarks Upon Arrival at Cointrin International Airport in Geneva, Switzerland

May 09, 1977

First of all, I would like to say that I am very delighted and proud to come for the first time to the beautiful country of Switzerland.

Because of the deep commitment of the Swiss people over many generations, and even centuries, to basic human freedoms, to the pure and idealistic aspirations of humankind, and because of the historical independence and insistence upon the principles of peace, all the nations of the world have looked upon (geneva and Switzerland as a place to dispel differences and to eliminate hatred and to search for a better common ground on which we can get along well with one another.

I come here today from a meeting concerning economics and the future of the people of our world as we seek a full employment and a more stable life and a more equal balance of prosperity. I am meeting here today with one of the great leaders in the Middle East, President Asad of Syria. We feel that 1977 might be a good year to move forward toward permanent peace in that troubled region of the world.

No one can think of a better place to meet and to explore possibilities than this beautiful city of Geneva. My first memory of Geneva was as the homeland for the search for permanent peace, which didn't last, in the League of Nations, and as a birthplace of the Red Cross, and now as a center for the common effort in the European theater for a mutual search for understanding and peace.

So, it's with a great deal of hope and pleasure that I come to this beautiful country. And I hope that later on this year we might come back to find a resolution of differences that have separated one nation from another and one people from another for many, many years in the eastern Mediterranean area.

I want to thank these officials behind me for having made me feel welcome. Although my visit will be brief, I hope to acquire here a better understanding of the problems with which we might deal later on this year. And I believe that the natural inclination of the Swiss people and the atmosphere and influence of Geneva will be conducive to major progress built upon this visit.

Thank you very much for letting me come. I look forward to this brief visit with a great deal of anticipation and pleasure and thanksgiving.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 2:35 p.m. He was greeted by Albert Weitnauer, Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs, and other Swiss officials.

Jimmy Carter, Remarks Upon Arrival at Cointrin International Airport in Geneva, Switzerland Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/244159

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