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Toasts of the President and President Sadat of Egypt at a Working Luncheon in Salzburg

June 02, 1975

Mr. President:

As you know, it has been a very high privilege for me to meet with you and discuss our mutual problems, as well as our hopes and our aspirations for a joint and a very durable peace in the Middle East [based] on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.

I am also glad to see so much of Henry [Kissinger] here in Salzburg. I have often thought he might have been taking up residence in the Middle East. [Laughter]

As you know, the United States will celebrate its 200th anniversary of independence next year. We are now taking a new look at our own early history. As our celebration begins, we have new pride in the courage, the vision, and the wisdom and determination of our forefathers.

America has long stood for peace and human progress based upon justice. And I want you to know, Mr. President, that these remain our objectives now and, I am certain, in the future. They have the full support of the American people, regardless of their political persuasion.

You and I have very thoroughly reviewed the situation in the Middle East and its implications for the area and the world as a whole. We have discussed the approaches to the continuing process of negotiation. The final decision, of course, cannot be made until other consultations have been held.

We both are totally agreed on the need, indeed, the imperative of giving momentum to progress toward peace. And as I have pledged to you, Mr. President, the United States will not permit a stalemate or a stagnation to develop in this all-essential progress. And I believe that our consultations have made a very important contribution toward this objective.

Mr. President, you gave me a very illuminating picture of your plans to put Egypt on the path of sustained economic progress for the future. And I assure you that the United States is prepared to provide Egypt with current assistance as a basis for a long-range economic development, both bilaterally and in cooperation with other states and other international institutions. And I will work with our Congress to give reality to this continuing pledge.

Mr. President, I have found in our talks that we both share the same goal-peace and progress for our peoples and for all humanity. For that reason, I am gratified that our two countries have strengthened friendship dramatically in the past 2 1/2 years and begun cooperation in so many broad fields. I am determined, Mr. President, to continue and to expand this friendship.

Nothing is more apparent in today's world than the fact that the destinies of nations are intertwined. The interdependence of nations is not simply an abstract concept; it is a reality that all peoples and all nations must recognize. The problems of one are the problems of all; the progress of one contributes to the progress of all.

We in the United States will conduct our relations with you, Mr. President, in this broad spirit. And we know this is your desire as well. Together, Mr. President, and in cooperation with other states that seek peace, progress, and human dignity, we will achieve our common goal.

Gentlemen, I ask all of you to join me in a toast to the President and to the people of Egypt, to peace in the Middle East, and in the cause of peace for all peoples.

Note: The President spoke at 3:22 p.m. at Schloss Klessheim. President Sadat responded to the President's toast as follows:

Dear President Ford, distinguished friends:

It was only yesterday when I first met President Ford in person to deepen the acquaintance, respect through the exchange of letters and views in the last few months.

I am pleased to say that our first get-together was a delightful and illuminating one, as it revealed to me President Ford's great vision, compassion, and genuine commitment to the cause of peace.

Not surprisingly, I found that the President agrees fully with me that the situation in the Middle East is an explosive one that makes it imperative on all the parties concerned to take the urgent actions and measured decisions if we are to avoid another unfortunate outburst of violence.

No one who is sincere in his desire to establish peace in that sensitive and strategic area can possibly tolerate a stalemate or stagnation. Such a state of affairs does not in the least reduce tension or stimulate the process of peace. On the contrary, it gives way to increased mistrust, accumulated frustration, and escalated tensions.

We cannot keep the conflict within manageable proportions unless we strive to maintain the momentum of peace through concrete actions that could convince people that peace is not only a desirable ideal but also a practical and workable proposition.

I am equally pleased with President Ford's sincere desire to strengthen the bilateral relations between our two countries and peoples in the interest of world peace and international cooperation.

Dear friends, while I invite you to stand up and drink a toast for President Ford and the American people, I would like to state that we are looking forward to seeing the President and Mrs. Ford in Cairo.

Prior to the luncheon hosted by President Ford, the Presidents held a meeting at the Salzburg Residenz.

Gerald R. Ford, Toasts of the President and President Sadat of Egypt at a Working Luncheon in Salzburg Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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