Richard Nixon photo

Remarks of Welcome to Prime Minister Nihat Erim of Turkey

March 21, 1972

Mr. Prime Minister and our distinguished guests:

Mr. Prime Minister, it is a very great privilege to welcome you on this first day of spring to our country, and to welcome Mrs. Nihat Erim and the members of your party on this occasion.

Your visit comes at a very special time. It is halfway between the visits that I will have paid to the P.R.C. and the U.S.S.R., and it reminds us of a very profound truth. At a time that we seek better relations with those who have been our adversaries, we do not forget those who have been and are our friends.

Turkey and the United States have been allies and friends for many years. That alliance has been particularly strong in NATO, and from the standpoint of friendship, I shall never forget the warm welcome that the people of Turkey and your Government extended to Mrs. Nixon and me when we visited your country in 1956. We hope that we can make you, your wife, and the members of your party feel just as welcome as you visit Washington, our Nation's Capital today.

We are reminded, too, that our alliance and friendship goes beyond military matters. We know, for example, that in a cause that is interesting to not only people in your country, but in ours, people all over the world, that of dealing with dangerous drugs, your Government has taken strong positions of leadership and cooperation that have been most helpful in dealing with this problem, and for that we are most grateful.

As I think of your country and its great history, the motto which came from your great leader Ataturk, "Peace at home and peace in the world," is one that we in the United States can also say is our goal. That is the purpose of our meeting todays peace at home, peace in the world-and we know that our talks will contribute to that great goal.

Note: The President spoke at 10:45 a.m. on the South Lawn at the White House where Prime Minister Erim was given a formal welcome with full military honors. The President spoke without referring to notes. See also Items 98 and 99.

The Prime Minister responded as follows:

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

I am overwhelmed by your heartwarming words welcoming us to Washington. Mrs. Erim and I are most happy to have this opportunity to get to know you personally and to pay this official visit to your beautiful Capital City.

I am looking forward to our talks, and feel sure that I shall benefit from your vast experience as a great statesman in tireless pursuit of efforts to lay the foundations of a lasting structure of peace. I am fully aware also of your concern to improve the quality of life for all the peoples of the world so that one basic reason of discord may be eliminated.

In our part of the world, we follow a course that seeks detente while remaining alert to meet any threat. We have closely followed and greatly admired your extensive undertakings toward the initiation of an era of worldwide understanding and peace, and we ardently support you, Mr. President, in these efforts to lower tensions and establish a new order in which all peoples may prosper in security.

Almost exactly 20 years ago, Turkey joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, thereby formalizing and strengthening her ties with the Western community, and in particular with the United States of America. The last quarter of a century bears witness to the success of the cooperation between our countries in maintaining peace and security for our peoples.

Our peoples share many common traits. Both nations are unflinchingly dedicated to liberty and parliamentary democracy and stand ready to defend what they hold dear. Both nations pursue the same goals: establishment of a just and lasting peace in the world, where nations may determine freely their future and respect each other's territorial integrity and way of life.

I therefore feel confident that, based on these common traits and ideals, our solidarity and friendship will continue to flourish in the years ahead as we hopefully enter a new era of global understanding and stability. I firmly believe that the rapport between our two countries continues to be a vital element of security and peace. We value this happy partnership between our two countries in the same measure as we appreciate your global efforts in promoting understanding and confidence on a worldwide scope.

Mr. President, I am indeed looking forward to exchanging views with you on bilateral subjects, as well as on others that are of mutual interest. I am confident that this exchange will enhance the already close relations between our two countries.

Richard Nixon, Remarks of Welcome to Prime Minister Nihat Erim of Turkey Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under




Washington, DC

Simple Search of Our Archives