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Vice President Mondale's Trip to Europe and Japan Remarks of the President and the Vice President on the Vice President's Departure.

January 23, 1977

THE PRESIDENT. I am very grateful to come this morning to have my last meeting with Vice President Mondale before he goes to Europe and to Japan. The early initiation of this very important diplomatic trip and the fact that the Vice President himself is going shows the importance that our Nation attaches to friendly relationships between ourselves and the seven nations, specifically with whose leaders Senator Mondale--or Vice President Mondale, now, will be meeting.

We also have arranged for him to meet with the leaders of the OECD, the NATO countries, and the Common Market countries of Europe. He'll be visiting Pope Paul and will be gone for 10 days. This trip will not be limited in its scope. He'll be discussing both political and economic and military matters.

We had a very thorough preparation for this trip with the members of the National Security Council yesterday morning. And for the last couple of weeks, Vice President Mondale and I have been preparing for this diplomatic venture.

There are several things specifically that he will be addressing. One is the preparation for a summit meeting that will likely occur later on this spring, which will not itself be limited to economic matters. He'll be discussing the importance that we attach to the limitation of proliferation of the capability for atomic weapons.

He'll be discussing future substantive changes that we hope will improve the strength of NATO and our own friendly and close relationships with our natural allies and friends in both Europe and Japan.

Vice President Mondale has my complete confidence. He is a personal representative of mine, and I'm sure that his consultation with the leaders of these nations will make it much easier for our country to deal directly with them on substantive matters in the future.

I'm going to miss him. I know that I'll be looking forward to 10 days from now when he returns with a good report. And this is one of the best things, I think, that I could have possibly done as a new President, to show the strength and purpose of our own Nation and our commitment to carry out the obligations that we have as a leader in the world community.

So, Fritz, good luck. Don't get too much rest, and we'll see you when you get back.

THE VICE PRESIDENT. Thank you very much, Mr. President.

I understand that this trip is a historic first. To have a Vice President leave on a diplomatic mission this quickly after inauguration-on a diplomatic mission of this kind is unprecedented in American history. And the reason for the trip is to demonstrate immediately and dramatically the high level of importance that the Carter administration places on high level, continuous, cooperative relationships with our traditional allies and friends.

The many problems that we face, they also face. The problems of inflation, unemployment, nuclear proliferation, control of armaments, the relationships between our nations and the poorer nations of the world, and many other issues are issues which we face together. And it's essential at the very moment of beginning that the cooperative relationship be established in a way that permits us to move ahead quickly, effectively, and cooperatively.

I look forward to this trip, and I wish to thank the President for his confidence in me.


THE VICE PRESIDENT. Are you sure that helicopter works? [Laughter]

THE PRESIDENT. If it doesn't we'll all be very disappointed.

I caught a lot of flak when I issued the pardon proclamation. Maybe this will restore faith in the American people, having you leave the country for 10 days. Well, we love you, and thank you very much.

THE. VICE PRESIDENT. As I told some people at the Inaugural, the mail has been pouring in as follows: "Dear Jimmy, if I had known that your first move would be to send Mondale out of the country, I would have voted for you." [Laughter]

THE PRESIDENT. Good luck to you. I am proud of you.

Note: The President spoke at 8:38 a.m. on the South Lawn of the White House.

Jimmy Carter, Vice President Mondale's Trip to Europe and Japan Remarks of the President and the Vice President on the Vice President's Departure. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/242652

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