Jimmy Carter photo

The President's Overseas Trip Remarks on Departure From the White House.

December 29, 1977

THE PRESIDENT. Good morning, everybody.

I depart today on a journey that reflects both the diversity of the world we live in and also our own Nation's ability and desire to deal creatively and constructively with that diversity.

It's a rapidly changing world, a world in which the old ideological labels have less meaning than ever, in which the universal desire for freedom and for a better life is being expressed more strongly and in more ways than ever before, a world in which political awakening, economic independence, and technological progress have created new demands on the foreign policy of our people.

The variety of places that we will visit over the next 9 days is symbolic of the breadth and the variety of American interest in this new world.

In France and in Western Europe, we will reaffirm the historic bonds and our common values, and we will explore ways to meet the common problems of the industrial democracies.

In Poland, the ancestral home of millions of Americans, we will nourish the improving relationships between the United States and the peoples of Eastern Europe.

In Iran and in Saudi Arabia, we will discuss key economic relationships and press for a continuation of the dramatic progress that is being made in bringing peace to the Middle East.

In India, which is the largest democracy on Earth, we will seek new paths of cooperation and communication between the developing nations of the world and the industrial north.

And in all these places, we will be reaffirming our dedication to peace and our support of justice and of human rights.

It is a changing world, a different world, and I believe that it's also a different America whose message we will carry, an America more confident and more united, at peace with other nations and also at peace with itself, an America which is ready and able to cooperate wherever possible and to compete when necessary.

After a long period of doubt and turmoil here, we are finding our way back to the values that made us a great nation. And in this new spirit we are eager to work with all countries and all peoples in building the kind of world and the kind of world community that serves the individual and common needs of all.

We undertake this trip to express our own views clearly and proudly, but also to learn and to understand the opinions and the desires of others. We will try to represent our Nation and our people well, and I'll .take the good will of America everywhere we go. Thank you very much.

THE VICE PRESIDENT. Mr. President, we wish you and Mrs. Carter well as you undertake this most important mission on behalf of our Nation. I know that I speak for everyone here and for the American people when I say you take with you not only our best wishes but our love as well. We know it'll be a successful journey, and we eagerly await your return.

Note: The President spoke at 7: 35 a.m. on the South Lawn of the White House. Following the remarks, the Presidential party proceeded to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., where they departed for Poland.

Jimmy Carter, The President's Overseas Trip Remarks on Departure From the White House. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/242798

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