Gerald R. Ford photo

Toast at a State Dinner in Djakarta, Indonesia.

December 05, 1975

Mr. President, Mrs. Suharto, distinguished hosts:

Our two great nations enjoy a growing bond of friendship while reflecting differences that enrich humanity. We are on opposite sides of the world with great contrasts in history, geography, and culture. But Indonesia and the United States also have very, very much in common.

We share a dedication to peace in Asia and in the world. We share a commitment to economic and social progress. We share the realization that international cooperation is essential for international stability and prosperity.

In recent years, we have seen many dramatic changes in the world transforming the international and political and economic affairs. But the last vestiges of' colonial empires have disappeared. The cold war division of the world has broken down. We now live in a world of some 150 independent nations. It is a smaller world in which the destinies of nations are more clearly interdependent.

In this complex time of change, America, as always, looks to its relationships with friends. Indonesia is such a friend. Indonesia exemplifies strength and self-reliance, as well as international leadership and responsibility. We respect your nonalignment and your goal of national resiliency. We admire your contribution to regional peace. We value very deeply your friendship.

Indonesia is one of the proud nations of Southeast Asia that are preserving independence. This is being done by meeting the aspirations of the people, seeking to reconcile differences, and building regional cooperation.

Just a few months ago, as you mentioned, Mr. President, we had a productive series of talks at Camp David.1 Tonight, I am delighted to be in your country. The United States, as you know, regards itself as a Pacific nation. No area of the world is more important to us than Asia.

1 See Item 381.

We remain firmly committed to peace and security in Southeast Asia and throughout Asia. We see our own prosperity and progress linked with vast populations, the dynamic economies, the abundant resources, and the rich cultures of this great region of the world.

I have come here, Mr. President, because of America's continuing interest in your country's security and well-being. I am delighted our two nations have developed a genuine and growing friendship based upon mutual respect and cooperation on many, many international issues.

Our relationship involves a common concern for the right of every nation to pursue its destiny on its own independent and sovereign course. And our ties go beyond security, embracing the challenges of economic and social development, the energy problem, and a whole new spectrum of interests and issues which require a continuing dialog between developed and developing nations.

The spirit of partnership and friendship achieved by our two countries is example to others. The importance of our relationship increases with every passing year. This is our view, Mr. President. I know from our previous conversations that it is also yours.

On behalf of Mrs. Ford and myself and all of our delegation, I raise my glass and propose a toast: to you and your gracious wife, to the people of Indonesia, to our friendship, and to our common goals.

Note: The President spoke at 10:10 p.m. at the Presidential Palace in response to a toast by President Suharto.

Gerald R. Ford, Toast at a State Dinner in Djakarta, Indonesia. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/257184

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