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Remarks of Welcome to Prince Juan Carlos of Spain

January 26, 1971

Your Highness Prince Juan, Princess Sophia:

I welcome you, on behalf of all the people of the United States, very warmly to our country and to the Nation's Capital. I welcome you not only officially but personally.

Speaking officially for the people of the United States, we recall the great debt we owe to those courageous and daring Spanish explorers who came to the New World so many centuries ago.

We think of the heritage we owe to Spanish-speaking people in our Nation. We recall the fact, for example, that right at this time, next to English, more Americans speak Spanish than any other language. It is our second language.

We also think of the present, of the fact that we are partners in defense and that we also are partners in progress in our economic policies, partners in progress for the fastest growing economy of all the nations of Europe, the economy of your country.

And we think also of the future, of the vibrancy and the strength represented by the young people of your country of which you and your Princess are such distinguished representatives.

And speaking personally, Mrs. Nixon and I will never forget the welcome we received from the people of Spain in Madrid a few months ago.

You are welcomed just as warmly to our country, and we hope that your few days stay here will be as memorable for you as our stay in your country was memorable for us.

Note: The President spoke at 10:45 a.m. on the South Lawn at the White House where Prince Juan Carlos received a formal welcome with full military honors. See also Item 30.

The Prince responded in Spanish. A translation of his remarks follows:

Mr. President:

This is my fourth visit to the United States. For a Spaniard it is always an emotional experience to arrive on this continent to which my country has given the best of its culture, faith, blood, and ideals, all of which--reshaped and revitalized by the distinct personality of each of its nations--has contributed to form what is today the American reality.

On previous trips we acquired a direct and personal acquaintance with the people of the United States. We felt their kindness and generosity, their steadfast faith in their country's institutions, their organizational capacity-all of those ingredients and characteristics that make up your great Nation.

But the visit that Princess Sophia and I begin today has a new and deeper significance. As successor to the throne and future King of Spain, this is the first official trip taken on your personal invitation, Mr. President.

Spain is bound historically and by our commonly shared ideals of progress to the United States and all of America.

Today, nations cannot live in isolation. Our world must cope with problems often of a universal nature. Spain wishes to live in close harmony with all nations, respecting their national characteristics, but we must come to know- one another better in order to better our mutual understanding. This desire of cooperation toward the progress of our two countries is attested to by the signatures on our recently negotiated treaties.

Many corners of the world cry out for the solution of their serious material needs, but in today's world there are also other urgent needs that must be satisfied. Freedom, to be authentic, must be responsible and based upon peace and culture; it also requires that we attend to new problems posed by an era of constant evolution.

Spain appreciates the efforts of the American people in serving the cause of peace. You may be sure that we share these same ideals and strive toward economic development, to achieve ever greater social well-being and political advancements, in accordance with our past experience and history.

Mr. President, Generalissimo Franco has requested me to convey his sincerest regards and profound esteem, and he has asked me to be the bearer of a letter. It is with great pleasure that I now fulfill both of these duties.

This trip, as your visit to Madrid several months ago, which we hold in fond memory, as well as our meetings and visits planned here, will contribute toward our increased mutual understanding, which is the cornerstone of the development of all nations.

Princess Sophia and I, Mr. President, thank you for your invitation and for this cordial welcome extended by you and your wife.

Richard Nixon, Remarks of Welcome to Prince Juan Carlos of Spain Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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