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Remarks of Welcome to President Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia

October 28, 1971

President Tito, Madam Broz, our distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

Mr. President, I am very honored on behalf of the American people to welcome you again to the United States and to our Nation's Capital. I welcome you on this occasion first as the leader of a nation with which the United States has very friendly relations, but I welcome you also as a world statesman of the first rank.

I recall on the occasion of the visit that I made to your country--die privilege of being the first President of the United States to visit Yugoslavia--the long talks that we had, not only about relations between our two countries but about the problems of the world generally. I look forward to resuming those talks today and on the occasions that we will meet while you are here. I know that our discussions will further the interests of better relations between our two countries, but will also contribute to the goal of peace in the world, to which you are dedicated and to which we are dedicated.

A moment ago, across these south grounds of the White House, we heard the music of your national anthem. The words of that national anthem also have very great meaning. One phrase reads like this: "We will stand steadfast and strong, like a granite mountain." Mr. President, may our friendship between Yugoslavia and the United States always be steadfast and strong, and may our dedication to the principle of the right of every nation in the world to be independent in a world of peace be as steadfast and strong.

Mr. President, we welcome you warmly not only to our Nation's Capital but also to the other parts of America that you will visit in the days that you are here.

Note: The President spoke at 11:06 a.m. on the South Lawn at the White House where President Tito was given a formal welcome with full military honors.

See also Items 342 and 343.

President Tito began his remarks in English; he then continued in Serbo-Croatian, which was translated by an interpreter. His remarks follow:

Mr. President, Mrs. Nixon, ladies and gentlemen:

May I thank you most warmly on behalf of my wife, my associates, and in my own name for this solemn and friendly welcome, and for your kind words.

I find great satisfaction in the fact of meeting you again after your important visit to my country, the first visit paid by an American President to Yugoslavia. Our encounters and talks eloquently reflect the traditionally friendly relations prevailing between our two countries, allies in the World Wars, participants in the founding of the United Nations, which have had much in common in their past history.

Today we are also bound by the fact that the fate of all countries and peoples is becoming ever more common, as we live in a world in which, in view of the present level of progress of mankind, we can achieve general prosperity or suffer general catastrophe.

Founded on mutual respect and enriched by new possibilities for equal cooperation, our relations are developing in all fields. We have come here, in the same way as you came to Yugoslavia, to strengthen and promote precisely such relations still further. This is in the interest of our two countries, while, at the same time, these relations constitute a significant factor of peace and stability in Europe and in the world.

Mr. President, we are looking forward with particular interest to our talks with you and your associates on many important questions of international relations in which your country plays a very important role and bears a great responsibility. As an independent and nonaligned country, firmly resolved to remain the sovereign architect of its own internal development and of its foreign policy, Yugoslavia is vitally interested in the broadest democratic international cooperation and in the removal of all barriers and divisions that are hampering it.

Striving to contribute to the utmost to such cooperation in a world of indivisible peace and freedom, we are following with great attention and understanding the new trends in the "era of negotiations" to which you personally, Mr. President, are contributing with your initiatives and active involvement.

We are confident that this time, too, our open exchange of views will contribute to better mutual understanding, to the expansion of bilateral cooperation and strengthening of joint efforts for the easing of tensions and peaceful solution of international problems which are burdening the world.

I am gratified, esteemed friend, that this time I shall also have the opportunity to visit some parts of your great and beautiful country, whose talented and enterprising people are engaged in accomplishing great achievements as well as in a search for solutions for the problems and needs of man in this dynamic epoch of development of science and technology.

I bring to the American people and to you, Mr. President, the friendly greetings of the peoples of Yugoslavia.

PRESIDENT NIXON. Zivila [Long live] Yugoslavia !

PRESIDENT TITO. Zivila America!

Richard Nixon, Remarks of Welcome to President Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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