Richard Nixon photo

Remarks of Welcome to President Luis Echeverria Alvarezof Mexico

June 15, 1972

Mr. President, Senora Echeverria, all of our distinguished guests:

Mr. President, we welcome you very warmly on your first official visit to Washington. We welcome you as the head of state of a great nation, our great and friendly neighbor to the South. And we welcome you also as a world leader of the first rank.

During the course of our discussions we will have the opportunity to talk about bilateral issues between our two countries. I will be extremely interested in getting your views on hemispheric problems, particularly in view of your very eloquent comments in which you enunciated the Echeverria Doctrine in Santiago a short time ago.

And since you are the first head of government or head of state to visit Washington since my visit to Moscow, I shall look forward to the opportunity to talk with you about international problems of mutual interest. We shall discuss these problems with great frankness and great candor. But what is even more important, we will discuss them as friends.

Mr. President, the people of the United States of America have a very warm place in their hearts for the people of Mexico. I personally, and my wife, have a warm place in our hearts for your country and we feel that as we meet you today, we meet not only as official friends but also as personal friends. We believe that Mexican-American friendship is an indispensable cornerstone to our foreign policy and we believe that our talks will contribute to that friendship and to the cause of peace and progress for all people in the world.

Note: President Nixon spoke at 10: 14 a.m. on the South Lawn at the White House where President Echeverria was given a formal welcome with full military honors. President Nixon spoke without referring to notes. See also Items 201 and 203.

President Echeverria spoke in Spanish. His remarks were translated by an interpreter as follows:

President Nixon, Mrs. Nixon:

A few yards away from us we can turn and see young mothers holding children in their arms and as we see them we must think of young mothers all over the world holding children in their arms, the children that are the new generation, the new hope for the world.

These mothers look towards the future with either uncertainty or with hope. They want to see how the present leaders of this changing world are going to act and thus affect the future of these new generations.

The great powers will be working and making decisions that will affect the future of these mothers and these children, and they will want to know what the future is.

This is what we must think of, all the leaders of the world today, that we have the fate of the world in our hands and that we are changing the world, that we will affect the course of history, and let us hope our contributions will be towards a world of peace, of security, and prosperity.

Mr. President, we should never forget--and as we look around we are reminded by these young mothers and their children--how we are responsible for the conditions facing this new generation and we will be the ones responsible for deciding whether this will be a world for them of anguish or a world for peace.

Mr. President, the people of Mexico bring to you and to the people of the United States, this great and friendly neighbor, our best and most cordial greetings from all of us, and I am certain that out of our conversations will come agreements that will be positive and will contribute toward the further progress of peace and prosperity in this changing world.

We hope that we will be able to do this so that no matter what our ideologies, the young of the small and great countries of the world will work together with a hope to contributing to peace in a better world today that we may have an international order that will enable us to face the future with greater hope so that we will benefit these new generations that are the essence and the heart of our preoccupations, of our concern, and of our work.

My warmest thanks to you, Mr. President, and to the great people of our friendly neighboring country, the United States, and in closing I express the hope, and I have no doubt, that out of our conversations will come agreements that will be mutually beneficial for both peoples.

[At this point, President Echeverria called to the platform where he was speaking two mothers and their daughters who had been viewing the ceremony. They were Countess Logan Lessana of Rome, now living in Washington, D.C., with her 4-year-old daughter Barbara, and Mrs. Julie Robinson of McLean, Va., a member of Mrs. Nixon's staff, with her 4-year-old daughter Tegan. They remained on the platform during his closing remarks.]

Mr. President, in the whole world you can see beautiful scenes like this, children held in the arms of the mothers, and these young generations should be always on our minds, and I like to think, I wonder, what will be the world--what will be the world that we will leave to them, what will conditions be like in the year 2000 when these two beautiful young girls are grown up, what will be the world for their children and their grandchildren?

Will there be years of danger because of man's technological progress or will we turn this technological progress into a better world and into better living conditions for all people?

This is a thought, Mr. President, we should also bear with us--the thought of these young mothers with children in arms, of this new generation that we are working for.

Richard Nixon, Remarks of Welcome to President Luis Echeverria Alvarezof Mexico Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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