Text of Remarks at a Dinner Hosted by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy in Rome
Mr. Prime Minister, Camilo Cavour, the first Prime Minister of a unified Italy, once claimed to have discovered "the art of fooling diplomats." He said, "I speak the truth, and they never believe me." Mr. Prime Minister, I hope you will believe me when I tell you it is a joy for us to begin our commemorative journey among the wonderful people of your country.
This week we honor all those who reclaimed Europe's freedom half a century ago. In the time since, Italy has reclaimed her proud democratic heritage and become one of the world's most economically advanced nations.
Now, as winds of change blow across our world, the people of Italy, like those of America, are laboring in the vineyards of democratic reform and economic renewal. As our people have been joined by kinship and fellowship in the past, so they will be joined in the work ahead.
Robert Browning best captured what every traveler to this breathtaking land must feel, when he wrote, "Open my heart and you will see/Graved inside of it, 'Italy.'"
Tonight I open my heart and offer a toast to the Italian people, to their new Prime Minister, and to the lasting friendship between our two great nations.
William J. Clinton, Text of Remarks at a Dinner Hosted by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy in Rome Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/219147