Richard Nixon photo

Statement on the Forthcoming Visit to Western Europe.

February 06, 1969

I AM PLEASED to inform you that after consultations with the heads of state and government concerned, I have decided to visit Western Europe late this month. I plan to visit Brussels, London, Bonn, Berlin, Rome, and Paris in that order. The precise schedule will be made available when it is completed.

The purpose of this trip is to underline my commitment to the closest relationship between our friends in Western Europe and the United States. I would like to lift these relationships from a concern for tactical problems of the day to a definition of our common purposes. The Alliance, held together in its first two decades by a common fear, needs now the sense of cohesiveness supplied by common purpose. I am eager for an early exchange of views on all the important issues that concern us. I favor intimate and frank consultations, and I am delighted that it has proved possible to make this journey so early in my administration. I am going to discuss, not to propose; for work, not for ceremony.

The future of the countries of the West can no longer be an exclusively American design. It requires the best thought of Europeans and Americans alike. I look on this trip as laying the groundwork for a series of meetings to be continued over the months ahead.

While in Paris, I intend also to review intensively the Paris peace talks. To this end, I have set aside a morning to meet with Ambassador Lodge and his staff for a full review of the situation.

Richard Nixon, Statement on the Forthcoming Visit to Western Europe. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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