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Visit of King Hassan II of Morocco Remarks at the Welcoming Ceremony.

November 14, 1978

THE PRESIDENT. It is indeed a great honor for me as President of our country and for the people of the United States to welcome His Majesty, King Hassan II of Morocco.

Your Majesty, we are grateful that you have come to pay us a visit, along with Crown Prince Sidi Mohammed. This reminds us with a great deal of pleasure of the visit 11 or 12 years ago (21 years),1 when you came as Crown Prince with your own father, the revered King Mohammed V.

1 Printed in the transcript.

It's impossible for the people of the United States of America to forget the early days of our own Nation's existence. Our Declaration of Independence was in 1776. And 1 year later, in 1777, Morocco recognized our people, our new Government as a nation. Your country, Your Majesty, was the first nation on Earth to ever give us this diplomatic relation and recognition. And we will ever be grateful to you for having confidence in us and in the spirit of freedom and independence which our struggling forefathers had espoused to the world.

Only 10 years later, in 1787, there was signed a treaty of friendship and commerce between the United States of America and the nation, the people of Morocco.

These relationships have bound us together in common purpose, mutual understanding, and friendship for centuries. But we still recognize your leadership and your great nation not only as our nearest neighbor in Africa, but we recognize your country as indeed the crossroads of north and south, east and west, because of the ancient history of your people, the ancient and benevolent nature of the reign of your family and the pride with which you espouse ideals and commitments that are so precious to the people of my country.

Ever since World War II, we have enjoyed the closest possible political and military alliance with your nation. Our sailors, our airmen, our diplomats, our business leaders, our scholars, our students have been welcomed in your country. And we deeply appreciate this ancient and also this modern special privilege of being the friends of the people of Morocco.

You have shown great courage in trying to retain the cohesion of the Arab world and, at the same time, being forceful in your expression of support for the peace initiative taken by President Sadat a little more than a year ago when he went to Jerusalem. He was criticized by many, but he was praised and supported by you. And I know that your beneficent influence in the future will help our Nation, and those others who are struggling for peace, ultimately achieve success.

Your Majesty, as a statesman, admired and respected throughout the world, as a representative of a great people, as a scholar and a leader throughout the continent of Africa, and indeed, your entire region of our planet, we are grateful for our relationship with you and for your kind visit to our country.

There is no doubt in my mind that our own discussions with our advisers and other leaders and the private discussions that I intend to have with you will be very constructive both for the people of your country and my own and also for the enhancement of peace in your troubled region and indeed throughout the world.

Thank you, Your Majesty, for being here with your fine family, and I want again to express our welcome to you on this wonderful day in the history of my own country.
Thank you and welcome.

KING HASSAN. Mr. President, I have come to visit you with consideration, friendship, as much as faults in English. [Laughter] But I shall try to translate or to write the feelings of my people and my own feelings for yourself and your country.

You have built all your election, Mr. President, on rights of men, in the time where you are the first nation in the world. For us, the small peoples, this philosophy and this policy is very important, and it is a big encouragement, because we have no weapons, we have not your army; we have only our faith and our rights. But I think that faith and rights are the best weapons to live or to die.

Mr. President, you told us in few words, but in full words, the history between the United States and the Kingdom of Morocco. My hope and my wish is to build with you our modern history on the same level as our old history.

I have the mission to bring on my shoulders and to convey in my heart the friendship of my people to the American people. I pray God to help me to be a good servant for my people and for the friendship between the United States and Morocco. And I pray God, I pray God to help you in your work, Mr. President, and to preserve the United States of America.

THE PRESIDENT. Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 10:45 a.m. on the South Lawn of the White House.

Jimmy Carter, Visit of King Hassan II of Morocco Remarks at the Welcoming Ceremony. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/244116

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