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Toasts of the President and President Suharto of the Republic of Indonesia.

July 05, 1975

Mr. President:

I am greatly honored to have the opportunity of welcoming you on your visit to the United States as a part of your world tour.

You visited the United States last, as I understand it, in 1970, and we all recognize, of course, that through the years, you have been a very wise and valued friend of the United States.

I recognize, as all of us do here from the United States, that you have achieved a great deal for your country in the period during your Presidency. The Indonesian people, we recognize, have developed a solid foundation to deal with your nation's very complex challenges and the very difficult road, but in the process of development, great progress has been made.

Admiring you, President Suharto, and your country, as I do, I have wanted to meet with you and discuss with you the many issues that concern both of our nations. And I have found today, in our discussions, that your observations concerning Southeast Asia and the Pacific have been extremely meaningful and very constructive. I hope that this exchange of views will be mutually beneficial to both countries as we face our problems in the years ahead.

We do attach, in the United States, a great deal of importance to our relations with you. You have been a source of strength in Southeast Asia and in Asia as a whole, and we respect you for this part that you have played in the area, as well as the leadership that you have given to your own country in the process of development in the last 5 to 10 years.

We look forward to the opportunity of working with you in the future. The fact that we had a recent tragedy in Indochina actually should redouble, and does, our interest in the stability of Southeast Asia. 'Your assessment there, as I indicated, is most helpful to us as we plan and look to the future.

Let me say that the American people have great respect for your people, as we do for you and those in your Government. I was delighted this morning to reaffirm our Nation's solid support for Indonesia's development efforts, and we look forward to working with you in economic matters and the strengthening of your country in its major role in Southeast Asia.

Mr. President, in the months and years ahead, it seems to me that your country can provide continuing leadership in that part of the world, working with other nations that have a like philosophical, ideological view. Let me assure you that we will be most anxious to work with you and those other nations.

Today has been most enjoyable, most pleasant, and, I think, most constructive. I hope that you will return to the United States very soon and for a much longer and more extended visit to the United States.

It is a pleasure for me to ask all of you to raise your glasses to the good health and sustained success of the leader of Indonesia--His Excellency, President Suharto.

Note: The President spoke at 3 p.m. at Laurel Lodge, Camp David, Md.

President Suharto responded in Indonesian. His remarks were translated by an interpreter as follows:

Mr. President, Excellencies, distinguished guests:

May I first of all convey our highest appreciation and heartfelt thanks on behalf of my wife as well as my delegation for the opportunity given me to accept the kind invitation of you, Mr. President, to be here in the United States. And may I also, on behalf of the Indonesian people and Government, convey their profound gratitude for this opportunity provided us.

As part of the nature of this very short visit-I'd say, only for several hours--but I would like very much to take this valuable opportunity, an opportunity which is very valuable for us, to enable us to be able to conduct exchanges of views in our common efforts and in the discharge of my duty to further strengthen these relations and friendly cooperation between the United States and Indonesia, and also to have the opportunity to discuss with you, Mr. President, and conduct exchanges, open and frank exchanges of views, relating not only to bilateral relations and problems concerning our two countries but also on the international situations as well.

I believe entirely--and I am also fully confident-of the sincerity of the United States Government, Mr. President, for the pledge and the assistance that the United States Government will provide, not only to Indonesia but also to other Southeast Asian countries, but particularly to Indonesia, an Indonesia which is presently busily engaged in carrying out economic development efforts to create or to establish a just and prosperous society--a just and prosperous society which calls for its development, of course, for a lending, helping hand from other able countries who are really able to assist and help us in our development efforts.

In view of the fast-changing developments which have happened recently in Southeast Asia, particularly in the Indochinese peninsula, Mr. President, we are now striving very hard to consolidate what we call the national resilience and also to strengthen our national ideology, a national ideology which is based on our own principles, national ideology which should be strengthened in the efforts of the development effort. We would like very much to accelerate that effort. The national ideology which should be strengthened in a way that the confidence of the people in this ideology will be such that this will not corrode, and the confidence will bolster the unity of the nation; national ideology which becomes the most important aspect of our national resilience to enable us to face any eventualities which could endanger our independence and territorial integrity in the future.

May I also, on this occasion, once again reiterate our heartfelt thanks and gratitude for the pledge and the assistance and support that the United States has so far provided and will continue to support in this respect and gain our heartfelt appreciation.

In our common efforts of furthering or enhancing the friendly cooperation between the two countries, I see the great importance of having this reciprocal visit, a mutual visit by the heads of government.

And in this spirit, Mr. President, I would kindly invite Your Excellency to visit Indonesia and see for yourself, be the witness of what is going on in Indonesia and what are really the efforts of the Indonesian people and Government at the present state of our economic development.

May I, in conclusion, Mr. President, invite kindly Your Excellencies and distinguished guests to raise your glasses and join me in a toast to the health and happiness of His Excellency, the President of the United States.

Gerald R. Ford, Toasts of the President and President Suharto of the Republic of Indonesia. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/257316

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