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Remarks of Welcome to President Emilio Garrastazu Medici of Brazil

December 07, 1971

President Medici, Mrs. Medici, our distinguished guests from Brazil, and our distinguished guests here from the United States:

Mr. President, because of this inclement weather, it may seem to some that this is not the most fortunate time for a visit, but I want you to know that I believe that your visit to our country could not have been at a more important time from the standpoint of both countries.

As you know, I will be leaving for a trip to Peking and one to the Soviet Union. Prior to that time, I consider it vitally important to have discussions with our closest friends in at least the largest countries. The consultations with nations of Europe, with Japan, with Canada last night, and now with Brazil Brazil, the largest country in South America--are part of that consultative process.

The fact that you could be here now in our country will provide the opportunity that I have looked forward to, to discuss with you these visits that I will be making and, also, to have other discussions of importance to our two countries. I look forward to getting your views on hemispheric relations because, as the eyes of the world inevitably are on various trouble spots around the world far away, and on the trips, for example, that I shall be taking to other parts of the world, we in the United States of America know that our closest friends and our closest neighbors are in this hemisphere, and we welcome you as a close friend and a close neighbor for so many years from Brazil.

Mr. President, finally, I look forward to our talks because of the enormous success that you have had during your term of office in building the economy of Brazil, in the progress that has occurred during that period. Those who have written about it have called it "the Brazilian miracle." We congratulate you, and we want you to know that all of the people of this country, as we look to our great neighbor to the south, extend our very best wishes to all the people of your great country.

Thank you for coming at this time so that we could meet.

Note: The President spoke at 10:54 a.m. in the East Room at the White House. A formal welcome with full military honors had been scheduled to be held on the South Lawn, but because of rain, President and Mrs. Nixon greeted President and Mrs. Medici on the North Portico and proceeded to the East Room for the welcoming ceremony.

President Medici spoke in Portuguese. His remarks were translated by an interpreter as follows:

Mr. President:

It was with great joy and emotion that I accepted your invitation to visit the United States of America. This appeared to be, to me, a most propitious opportunity, not only to reaffirm our long and steadfast friendship but also to discover the basis for a new dialogue-brotherly, frank, and objective--between the United States of America and the Federative Republic of Brazil.

At this important moment of the national history of both our countries, they find themselves desirous to establish, through us, a new point of departure for a closer cooperation in the future.

Both the problems of the present and the prospects for the future make this a meeting of transcendental importance for our peoples. Our peaceful relations have remained unchanged, and our friendship has been strengthened in extremely difficult moments for both our countries through effective cooperation and exemplary fellowship and mutual respect.

Now is the time to build upon such a friendship, and it is for this purpose, which I am sure you share, that I take advantage of the welcome and hospitality of this great country.

Our relations in the years ahead cannot fail to reflect the promises and the uncertainties that gather over the international scene. Neither can they fail to adapt themselves to the new realities of the world and to the stage of historical evolution of each of our countries. Drawing inspiration from the past, the cooperation between Brazil and the United States must now seek, with imagination, new means and instruments which reflect such realities.

Our position cannot be the same vis-a-vis every international problem, nor is this expected from our frank and loyal friendship. Let us, nevertheless, endeavor to make our policies converge without requiring that they coincide in every case.

The Brazil of today, in full process of development, accepts the challenge of history which places on its shoulders an increasing share of responsibility in the concert of nations. It is with this conviction and in the spirit of fraternal friendship that I come to you today.

Mr. President, let this first moment be one brimming with faith and confidence--faith in that which we shall build together for the well-being of our people, and common confidence in the cause of justice, progress, and peace.

This is the message I bring you from the Brazilian people, asking you to convey it to the American people.

Richard Nixon, Remarks of Welcome to President Emilio Garrastazu Medici of Brazil Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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