Richard Nixon photo

Remarks of Welcome at the White House to King Hussein I of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

April 08, 1969

Your Majesty:

As you can tell from the reception you have received today, you are among friends. We welcome you again as one who has visited our country before and we say as you come again that we think you come at a very appropriate time.

As we all know, the area of the world in which you rule is one that presently has some very explosive problems. And in order to solve those problems, leadership is required--leadership from within that area. The kind of leadership that is required I would describe as having three qualities: the quality of courage, the quality of wisdom, and the quality of moderation.

And it is those three qualities that we in this country have seen in you, Your Majesty, through the years. You have been a man of courage and you have captured the imagination of our people because of that courage. You have been a man of wisdom and you have been a man of moderation.

And for that reason, we look forward to the conversations we will have with you and with members of your Government in attempting to find new avenues that could lead to permanent peace in that troubled area of the world.

We welcome you, then, today as an old friend. We welcome you, too, as one with whom we look forward to searching together for a new period of peace and understanding in the Middle Eastern area of the world.

Note: The President spoke at 10:08 a.m. on the South Lawn at the White House where King Hussein was given a formal welcome with full military honors.

The King responded as follows:

Mr. President:

I wish to thank you most sincerely for your kind and warm words of welcome. It is indeed a privilege for me to be here once again. And I know that I am amongst friends.

Sir, it was on my first visit to the United States in 1959 during the term of office of one of the greatest men of our times--President Eisenhower--that I had the privilege of meeting you. And since then I have been proud of the fact that you are my friend.

The relations between our two countries were never as strong as they were during that period and it is our sincere hope and desire that they grow now stronger than they ever were in the past.

The area from which I come, sir, is a troubled area. Thus, I feel the weight of responsibility even more as I come here to meet with you, sir, to discuss the problems of that area. For within the very near future we can either move towards our objective--a just and honorable peace in that area--or we might, indeed, lose the chance and the opportunity to establish peace, a just and lasting peace, there.

I really hope that we will move in the direction of peace because the situation, as explosive as it is, holds many dangers, not only to those involved in the area, but to the world as a whole.

And what we have sought and what we are seeking always is the establishment of a just and durable peace in the area; that all our energies and resources be diverted towards building the better future that we seek and we feel is the right of all in that area.

I thank you very, very much, indeed, sir, for your kindness and I am really so very proud and happy to be with you here again.

Thank you, sir.

Richard Nixon, Remarks of Welcome at the White House to King Hussein I of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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