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Remarks of Welcome to Chancellor Willy Brandt of the Federal Republic of Germany

April 10, 1970

Mr. Chancellor:

We are honored to welcome you and the members of your party to this house and to this Nation's Capital on this magnificent spring day.

Just 17 years ago this week, when I was Vice President of the United States, I welcomed another Chancellor of your country to the United States, Chancellor Adenauer--he was of a different party. And now I welcome you today.

But while your parties were different, there are certain great principles that you both stand for, and that we stand for, that are bigger than party.

We have heard your national anthem just a few minutes ago. The title of that anthem has in it the words, "unity, justice, freedom," and those principles transcend party differences and national differences. They belong to men and women who love freedom all over the world.

Mr. Chancellor, you have been to our country many times, but most Americans welcome you and remember you, as I do, because you were the Mayor of Berlin-and we think of Berlin, that great and free city, as we welcome you today. And I hope that the talks that we have, and I am confident this will be the case, will contribute to the kind of freedom without which peace is meaningless and to that kind of peace which we need if we are to enjoy freedom.

We believe deeply in these values, and we are honored to receive you so that we can work together, your people and our people, toward achieving those great common goals.

Note: The President spoke at 10:12 a.m. on the South Lawn at the White House where Chancellor Brandt was given a formal welcome with full military honors.

Chancellor Brandt responded as follows:

Mr. President:

Thank you very much for your cordial words of welcome. This is a moving moment. I have often come to the United States in past years-as member of the German Bundestag, as Governing Mayor of Berlin, as Foreign Minister. This time I am coming as Chancellor.

To us in Germany a trip of the Chancellor to Washington is more than an ordinary official visit. It gives evidence of one of the important realities of the international situations--the close partnership between the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany. At the same time it is an expression of the close cooperation between America and Europe. Both are factors of stability in a world in which there are still so many unresolved problems and so much insecurity.

Last year we celebrated here the 20th anniversary of NATO. In the Atlantic Defense Alliance we stand together because our security requirements demand it. At the same time the Alliance is the solid basis on which we try to reduce tensions and to achieve an enduring structure of peace. This is the aim of my Government's policy--and I know that it is the aim of your policy, Mr. President.

What I have just been saying indicates the essential subjects of our talks to which I am looking forward:
I think we must maintain the efficiency of the Atlantic Alliance as an instrument for safeguarding peace.

We must give positive substance to the relations between the enlarging European Community and the United States.

We must bring into good harmony our efforts, which are serious but without illusion, to improve East-West relations.

It is no exaggeration, I feel, when I say that hardly any bilateral issues exist between our two countries. We should make sure that this remains so. The people of the Federal Republic of Germany endorse and want this partnership.
I take this wish to be a mandate.

This is also true of the population of West Berlin. There is no other place where the ties between the United States and Germany are so manifest. This too must remain so.

I bring to you, Mr. President, and to the American people the greetings and good will of those for whom I speak. Our cooperation is embedded in the experience of a bitter past. It is directed to the many new challenges with which the seventies confront us.

Thank you very much, Mr. President.

Richard Nixon, Remarks of Welcome to Chancellor Willy Brandt of the Federal Republic of Germany Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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