Toasts of the President and President Ceausescu of Romania.
President Ceausescu, Mrs. Ceausescu, our very distinguished guests from Romania, and all of our guests from the United States:
We are very honored this evening to receive the President of Romania because he is the first President of Romania ever to be received as a state guest of the United States. And we are also honored to receive him for another reason: He is the first President or chief of state of a Socialist country to be received as an honored guest during this administration.
As we speak of the relations between Romania and the United States, we often refer to the differences that we have in our social and economic systems which are well known.
But on an occasion like this, I think that all of us are reminded of those things which draw us together rather than those that drive us apart, and first is the desire on the part of the people of both countries to know each other.
I have had the privilege of visiting Romania. And I know the warmhearted people who live in that country. And I want the people of America to know the people of Romania and the people of Romania to know the people of America, because they will like each other as they know each other, and they should not miss the opportunity to know each other in the years ahead.
I know, too, that having visited Romania that we have a common interest in seeing that there is progress in both countries. And there are many areas where we can work together for progress in the economic field. And the President and I in our talks have been exploring areas where there can be increased cooperation.
We have made a great deal of progress in this field over the past year. We will make more as a result of the talks we have had on this occasion.
And a third interest we share in common is one to which Romania is deeply dedicated and to which we are deeply dedicated, and that is the right of each nation to be independent, to have its own policy without foreign domination. We want that for ourselves. We respect that in any other country, and we want it and we respect it for our friends from Romania.
And, finally, there is the overriding concern that we share with our friends from Romania and with other countries in the world to strengthen the structure of peace in the world. And we believe that the opportunities that we have had on two occasions to meet at the highest level with the President of Romania have helped to strengthen that structure of peace.
It happens that in the world today because of the divisions, there are times when the leader of one nation does not have adequate communication with the leader of another. But as I was saying to the President earlier today, he is in a rather unique position. He heads a government which is one of the few in the world which has good relations with the United States, good relations with the Soviet Union, and good relations with the People's Republic of China.
Under those circumstances it is extremely valuable for the President of the United States to have the opportunity to speak to the President of Romania to discuss the problems, not only that we have between ourselves, but also these broader world problems in which Romania, because of its special position, can make a very constructive contribution to the eventual peaceful world we all want to share together.
And so for these reasons which are basically official, but also for a very personal reason, the fact that I have known and respected our distinguished guests, the President, his wife, and the members of his party because of our visit a year ago, I know all of you in this room will want to join me in raising our glasses to the President of Romania and to the Romanian people.
To the President of Romania.
Note: The President spoke at 9:48 p.m. in the State Dining Room at the White House. See also Item 383.
President Ceausescu spoke in Romanian. His remarks, as translated by an interpreter, follow:
Mr. President, Mrs. Nixon, ladies and gentlemen:
First and foremost, I should like to extend my thanks to President Nixon for the opportunity offered to us to visit the United States and for the kind invitation to meet together during these days.
It appears that sometimes visits which are not visits of state, rather unofficial on the opportunity of the United Nations session, may be even more fruitful.
I had the opportunity to visit a few centers in the United States and to have discussions with representatives of political and economic life in the United States. And today, I had the special pleasure to meet your President and to have with him a very interesting and fruitful discussion.
I was able to note with pleasure from the discussions I had with the representatives of political and economic life here in America that there are good prospects for the good development of relations between our two countries.
During the talks we had today, Mr. President, as you have mentioned before, we have tackled quite a number of problems of particular importance for the relations between our two countries. I am hopeful that in the near future new possibilities may be open for the many-sided and wide-scale progress of our relations.
Although our countries may have different social systems, I think that provided we act in a desire to develop our cooperation on the basis of fully equal rights, mutual respect of each country's independence and national sovereignty, noninterference in the internal affairs, and mutual advantage, we shall be able to develop very good relations between us.
In any case, I can guarantee here and now that Romania is never going to threaten in any way the United States.
Of course, during our meeting and the talks today, some of the international problems could not have failed to be tackled because--and this is most important--no matter where, in what part of the world a conflict may arise, it will influence more or less the fate of all nations.
Of course our utmost desire is to bring about the speediest possible settlement of the existing conflicts and to bring about a lasting peace such as to insure to every nation the possibility for her economic and social development, such as to insure each nation the possibility to live in peace without fearing any kind of aggression from outside.
We would wish that the cooperation between Romania and the United States should contribute towards settling the existing problems and to be inspired by the principles which are now becoming more and more the basic trends in the international affairs of today.
I think it would not be too fastidious of me to presume that at our future next meeting, the troops, both of Romania and of the United States, would be at home in their own land and that we may contribute really to such a cooperation which should better serve the cause of peace in the world.
With the hope and the desire that the development of our relations and our cooperation with the United States of America should extend in all fields, with the desire that these relations should serve the cause of cooperation among nations and peace in the world, I propose you, ladies and gentlemen, to drink this toast to the President of the United States of America.
Richard Nixon, Toasts of the President and President Ceausescu of Romania. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/240102