Vienna Summit Meeting Remarks of President Rudolph Kirchschlager of Austria and President Carter at the Welcoming Ceremony.
PRESIDENT KIRCHSHLAGER. Mr. President of the United States of America, on behalf of the people of Austria, I bid you, Mr. President, your distinguished wife, Mrs. Carter, and your distinguished party, a very cordial welcome on Austrian soil.
We Austrians are delighted and profoundly gratified at the fact that your meeting with the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union takes place in Vienna, the capital of the Republic of Austria. We hope sincerely that we will be able to offer you for your encounter an environment and an atmosphere which will facilitate your highly responsible talks.
I am well aware of the fact that we have no fight and that we have no wish to influence your deliberations. But, Mr. President, let me add one more word to this welcome, speaking not only as the Federal President of the Republic of Austria but also as one of the about 4,000 million human beings in this world.
We hope and we wish and we trust from the depth of our hearts that the meeting between you, Mr. President, and the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet will lead not only to the signing of SALT II but will also help to develop the relations and the relations of trust between the world powers and will contribute towards the further process of detente and thus towards a reduction of armaments.
Mr. President, once again, a very cordial welcome to you in Austria.
PRESIDENT CARTER. We are all delighted to visit the beautiful and historic city of Vienna. And on behalf of the American people, I want to express my appreciation to President Kirchschlager, Chancellor Kreisky, and the Government and the people of Austria for hosting this summit meeting.
The good wishes expressed by your President have been very important to me and accurately express the-purpose of our meeting.
The United States and Austria are united by strong bonds of friendship, mutual respect, and shared devotion to democratic ideals. The people of my nation unequivocally support and appreciate the freedom, the independence, and the neutrality of Austria.
I've come to meet with President Brezhnev on a mission of peace—to strengthen and to enlarge cooperation and understanding between the United States of America and the Soviet Union, to reduce the dangers of nuclear war, and to move towards a more stable and a more secure world.
This summit involves the United States and the Soviet Union directly. But all people have an urgent stake in these talks. No human being can rest secure in a world of unrestrained nuclear weapons. All nations and all people share an overriding interest in maintaining peace in the nuclear age.
This city is especially appropriate as a setting to pursue the goals of understanding. Historically, Vienna has been a crossroads where different cultures and political systems meet. The United States and the Soviet Union, for instance, concluded the first major cooperative agreement of the postwar period 24 years ago in this city in 1955, helping to move both nations beyond the hostilities and suspicions of the cold war era towards stability in Europe and greater cooperation in the pursuit of peace.
Vienna is the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency, on which all nations rely to provide safeguards for the peaceful use of atomic power. And along with New York and Geneva, Vienna is the third city of the United Nations.
For nearly three decades, the United States and the Soviet Union have sought to limit and to control the momentum of the nuclear arms race. This week we continue in that process with the signing of SALT II. We have no illusion that this agreement will rid the world once and for all of danger, nor will it end all the differences that exist between our two countries. But we are confident that SALT II will widen the areas of cooperation and reduce substantially the dangers of nuclear holocaust.
The people of Vienna, the people of Europe, and the peoples of many other nations have known the bitter price of war twice in. this century. With the success of this summit meeting, all people will take another step towards security and lasting peace.
Mr. President, thank you for your good wishes. We'll do our best to make them come true.
Note: The exchange began at 9:50 p.m. at the Vienna Airport.
Following his remarks, President Carter went to the residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Austria, where he stayed during the summit meeting.
Jimmy Carter, Vienna Summit Meeting Remarks of President Rudolph Kirchschlager of Austria and President Carter at the Welcoming Ceremony. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/250246