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Visit of President Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia Remarks at the Welcoming Ceremony.

March 07, 1978

PRESIDENT CARTER. This morning the people of the United States are honored by the presence of a great world leader, President Tito of Yugoslavia.

This is his third visit to the United States. The last time he was here was in 1971. One of the first actions that I took as President was to ask Vice President Mondale to go to Yugoslavia to present my own respects and admiration to President Tito.

He is indeed a remarkable man who has exhibited in his own life tremendous personal courage in battle, in times of severe testing of his strength as a human being and as a patriot. He's a contemporary of great world leaders who survived the crises of world war, a friend and associate of Prime Minister Churchill, President Roosevelt, General de Gaulle. He's a man who, on his own initiative, combined with other great leaders, Nehru, Nasser, to form an organization of the nonaligned peoples of the world. His recent activities in world events have been truly remarkable for any' leader, and particularly one of his experience and the size of his nation.

He's a father of the United Nations' Disarmament Conference, which will take place later this year. He has recently been the host of the leaders of the world who have assessed the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, known as the Helsinki agreement. He will later be the host, this year, in Yugoslavia of a meeting of the foreign ministers of the nonaligned nations.

He's a man who has understood for a long time our own Nation's commitment to detente and the true significance of this misunderstood word. He realizes and has told me in frequent, personal communications that he understands that detente must be comprehensive, that it must be reciprocal in nature, and it must be a demonstration constantly by the super powers of mutual restraint and a constant search for peace.

President Tito is a leader who has such great respect that he's able to bridge the gap of communications and understanding between nations and leaders who quite often have difficulty in dealing with one another. Within the last 9 months, he has made major visits to many countries and many capitals, including Moscow, Peking, and now Washington.

Perhaps as much as any other person, he exemplifies in Yugoslavia the eagerness for freedom, independence, and liberty that exists throughout Eastern Europe and indeed throughout the world. He and the people of Yugoslavia are recognized by our own country as worthy of admiration. We understand that the independence and the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia is one of the basic foundations of world peace now and in the future.

He's been an inspiration to the people of his own country and to others in his constant insistence on this freedom and independence. The people of Yugoslavia have in a unique way recognized their own willingness to sacrifice to the ultimate degree for the freedom of their own country. Within the Yugoslavian Constitution itself, there is a direct prohibition which forbids capitulation to any other outside force.

And finally, President Tito is the leader of a modern, prosperous country. He's a friend of the United States. He's helpful to me through constant cons consultation, has given me advice and constructive reports as a result of his trips around world and his free communication and mutual confidence with other world leaders.

The trade and commerce between ourselves and Yugoslavia's people is valuable to us. We hope to see it expanded in the future.

So, President Tito, on behalf of the people of our Nation, we welcome you to our shores, to our country, as a true friend.

PRESIDENT TITO. Mr. President, may I thank you warmly for your friendly words of welcome. I am very pleased to have this opportunity to visit again the United States of America in response to your kind invitation. The peoples of Yugoslavia and the American people are linked with bonds of traditional friendship born in times of great trial and hardships they have gone through in their histories. I am looking forward in particular to having a broad exchange of views with you, President, and to meeting also American statesmen, Congressmen, and prominent personalities. We highly value contacts and political dialog with American leaders.

In the last few years, Yugoslav-American relations have been developing and expanding gradually, but very successfully, the differences of view on certain international questions not being an obstacle for the further strengthening of cooperation between the Governments and our friendship between the peoples of the two countries. The development of our bilateral relations has shown that through mutual efforts and good will, even the most complex problems can be solved with success.

We in Yugoslavia are very much interested in the continuing, successful, and comprehensive development of relations between our two countries on the basis of the already established principles of independence, sovereignty, mutual respect, and understanding.

We expect that our visit to the United States, the exchange of views on current international issues, as well as the talks on the promotion of bilateral cooperation, will make an important contribution to the further strengthening and promotion of friendly relations between our two countries and thereby, also, to broader understanding, respect, and cooperation in the world.

I take this opportunity to convey to the American people .on behalf of the peoples of Yugoslavia the expressions of their friendly feelings and their best wishes for your overall progress.
Thank you, sir.

Note: The President spoke at 10:42 a.m. on the South Lawn of the White House. President Tito spoke in Serbo-Croatian, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

Jimmy Carter, Visit of President Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia Remarks at the Welcoming Ceremony. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/244685

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