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Visit of King Hussein I of Jordan Remarks of the President and King Hussein at the Welcoming Ceremony.

April 25, 1977

THE PRESIDENT. One of the most delightful experiences that a President can have is to welcome, on behalf of more than 200 million Americans, leaders of other nations who have 'been staunch friends and permanent allies of our country during times of crisis axed times of progress.

This is the silver jubilee of the reign of King Hussein of Jordan. Twenty-five years ago, he began his enlightened leadership of a people who have always been close to us.

The first time he came to our country as a leader of his great people was when President Eisenhower was in ,office more than 18 years ago.

King Hussein has been a frequent visitor to our Nation because of his interest in us, because of his friendship toward us, and because of the value that we ascribe to constant consultation with him to derive the benefit of his sound advice and constant sharing of mutual opportunities and, on occasion, mutual problems.

This year, 1977, is a special time. It's .one when we face possible opportunities .for major strides toward permanent peace in the Middle East. It would be a mistake to be too optimistic, because of the serious nature of the divisions that have long separated one people from another in the Eastern Mediterranean region. But if there is one leader who is a key to the comprehension of the problems and also the analysis of possible solutions, it would be King Hussein.

This will be a working trip for him. He's offered to meet with me, to give me counsel, and to give me advice on how our own country might play a role in bringing the interested parties together, perhaps toward some steps toward a resolution of long-standing problems.

Immediately after this ceremony, he and I will begin our meetings with his Cabinet officers and my own. He will also be meeting with other leaders of our Government during the next 2 days. I'll be with him tonight and again tomorrow. And I expect to learn a lot from King Hussein about how our own country might participate in the effort to bring peace to a troubled region.

It's with a great deal of pleasure and genuine friendship and appreciation for his own interest in our Nation and our future that I welcome, on behalf of the American people, to our country, my good friend and a friend of our country through the historic years past and in the future, King Hussein of Jordan.

'Thank you very much for coming with us. We're glad to have you here.

KING HUSSEIN. Mr. President, thank you most sincerely for your kind invitation, your hospitality, and your warm and moving words of welcome. I bring to you the greetings of the people of Jordan.

Although this is our first meeting, Mr. President, I very much feel that I already know you. Few world statesmen in recent memory have so clearly and unmistakably defined the personal responsibility of people in high government positions. You have recognized that those who make decisions on behalf of the nation must reflect a code of behavior equal to that of the nation as a whole.

You, therefore, have rejected the cynical notion that morality has no place in the foreign affairs of states. By so doing, you have demonstrated a breadth of vision and personal conviction that has captured the hopes of people all over the world.

Your outlook is one which I am convinced has practical application to the problems in the Middle East, for in the long run, that which is moral is also that which is most practical and lasting.

I have great confidence that faithful to your conviction, you will analyze with equal respect the conflicting viewpoints on the Middle East problems.

In the past, we have suffered from a gap of communication between the United States and the Arab world. We in the Arab world are assured that your commitment to moral principle, as well as to the national interest of your country, will enable you to grasp the elements of justice in the Middle East conflict and in the search for peace.

Mr. President, I look forward to a most candid and fruitful dialog. Our talks will afford us an opportunity to deepen the mutual respect that has existed between our two countries and to advance our constant efforts to find a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

The Arab States earnestly desire mutually beneficial relationships with the United States. Jordan, of course, has always maintained close ties with the United States--ties based not only on convergent national interests but, more important, on shared ideals reflected always in independently conceived foreign policies.

From these roots has grown over the past two decades strong friendship. This friendship in the past has been a basis for, not a consequence of, close cooperation between our countries.

Mr. President, the United States has great resources to influence positively the cause of advance in the Middle East. Jordan is ready to play its full part in the quest for a just and lasting settlement.

My greatest wish is that this visit will contribute not only to a strengthening of the bonds between our two countries but to a final resolution of the problems of the Middle East.

The attainment of peace is vital to the people of the Middle East, to the people of the United States, and to people everywhere.
Thank you, Mr. President.

Note: The President spoke at 10:34 a.m. on the South Lawn of the White House.

Jimmy Carter, Visit of King Hussein I of Jordan Remarks of the President and King Hussein at the Welcoming Ceremony. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/243578

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