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Toasts of the President and President Ceausescu at a Luncheon at Government Guest House in Bucharest

August 03, 1969

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen:

As we near the end of our brief visit to Romania, we only regret that we were unable to entertain the President and the members of the Romanian Government at the American Embassy. I recall in 1967, when Ambassador [Richard H.] Davis had a luncheon for me at the Embassy, that it was rather difficult to get more than 25 or 30 in the room. So regardless of whatever else comes out of these talks that we have had, and much good will come from them, one decision I have made: We will build a new embassy residence so that we can have this party next time in the embassy residence.

After seeing the splendid Titan housing project, I am sure we can find a good architect for the residence.

Mr. President, it is very difficult on this occasion to tell you how deeply we have appreciated the courtesies that you have extended to us, and also to tell you how deeply moved we have been by the reception we have received from the people of Bucharest on this visit.

We have tried on this occasion to bring as much of the United States to Bucharest as we could. The place cards, the matches, and the menus were all printed in the United States. The beef came from Kansas City; the peas came from California; the tomatoes came from Florida; and the hearts of palm came from Hawaii. But one thing we could not bring were the flowers, because no place in the world can you go and find more beautiful flowers than in Bucharest.

So, consequently, I simply want to conclude by saying that we have had very exhaustive talks, but they have not been exhausting because talk is exhausting only when it is boring, and when President Ceausescu and I talk, it is never boring. We have discussed matters of tremendous importance to relations between the United States and Romania, and also the whole problem of world peace. I know that from the talks we have had that much good will come in terms of bringing closer the day when we can have world peace.

One final point I would make on a personal

Note: The President proposed the toast at 2:45 p.m. President Ceausescu responded in Romanian. A translation of his remarks follows:

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen:

I should like first of all to express on behalf of all of my associates present here our thanks for the warm welcome, for the good welcome, given to us, and particularly for the things you have treated us with, brought over from the United States.

Listening to President Nixon saying that beef, matches, cigarettes, wine, champagne, were all brought over from the United States, a thought crossed my mind: that it is unjust when people say that Romanians are nationalistic. I see that United States representatives are able to go faster than we do in this field, too.

Secondly, I should beg to apologize to Mrs. Nixon and the President for the fact that we organized a tough program for them and left no time for them to have a rest during the visit.

As to the talks we had yesterday and today, it is true that they covered a broad range of subjects. Some parts of our discussion were rather lively, but I have to say that they were always civilized and constructive. Of course, not on all problems did we share the same point of view, but I wonder that if the representatives of states had the same point of view on all things, on all problems, then they would certainly meet much less frequently than they do now.

We hope, however, that notwithstanding the differences of views even on such problems, our two sides would work together toward finding appropriate solutions in order to strengthen cooperation between peoples and bring about peace to the world.

I should also like to express my gratitude to the President for having especially brought over the band of the Air Force, bypassing at the same time both NATO and the Warsaw treaty.

It is true that music is called upon to serve friendship between peoples and peace. It might be a good thing in order that music should not follow roundabout ways in order to get to places, and just to dismantle the military blocs in order to let music free. We could turn both the Warsaw Pact and the NATO into instruments of international cooperation in the field of music, for instance, and let us have competition between the two blocs then.


PRESIDENT CEAUSESCU. May I be permitted to propose this toast to the President of the United States and to Mrs. Nixon, who has already promised to come again to Romania one day: To the friendship between the United States and Romania; to the peace in the world.

Richard Nixon, Toasts of the President and President Ceausescu at a Luncheon at Government Guest House in Bucharest Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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