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Visit of Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti of Italy Remarks of the President and the Prime Minister at the Welcoming Ceremony.

July 26, 1977

THE PRESIDENT. This morning it's a great honor for me, on behalf of the American people, to welcome to our country a personal friend of mine and a man who represents a nation which is a close partner and friend of the United States. Prime Minister Andreotti is one of the most experienced and accomplished leaders in the whole world. He's had a breadth of service in the Government of Italy, which is almost unbelievable in its complexity and in its diversity and accomplishments.

About 30 years ago, as a very young man of 27, he became the Under Secretary of State, and since then he's been the Minister of Interior, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Defense, the Minister of the Treasury, of Commerce and Industry, the Minister of the Budget and Economic Planning. And before his present service, he has been Prime Minister of Italy on two different occasions. So, the great developments in Italy and its emergence as one of the world leaders is to a major degree a measure of the accomplishments of this fine man.

The last time he was in the United States was in December. He met then with Vice President-elect Walter Mondale. In January, when we made our first series of visits around the world to show how valuable those national friendships were, of course Italy was one of the places that the Vice President visited. He was well received by our good friend, Prime Minister Andreotti.

When I went to the London summit conference in May, I enjoyed working with Prime Minister Andreotti and five other world leaders in assessing the problems that we face together and the opportunities for improvement of the lot of those who live in our own countries and those who depend upon us to make decisions that can improve the lives of people in all nations.

The friendship between Italy and the United States is very dear to us and very important. The bilateral relationship is one of mutual significance and support. Obviously, Italy is one of the keystone nations in the European Community and is a valued partner of our own in the defense of the Atlantic region through NATO.

We have seen Italy's strong action and courageous action in recent years to overcome the tremendous burden of having to import 75 percent of their energy supplies at rapidly increasing prices. And the strict conservation measures and the sacrifice of the Italian people to restore the strength and integrity of their own economic system has been an inspiration to the rest of the world.

We work very closely with Italy. And now, we and they and a few other nations are analyzing the nuclear fuel cycle to determine how we can meet the needs of energy in the future from the atom without constraint on the economic well-being of the nations involved and at the same time prevent the proliferation of the ability of nations to develop nuclear weapons.

Our trade with Italy is of great mutual benefit, and there are large investments by American business in Italy and vice versa. We look on Italy as an avenue of advice and counsel and partnership in strengthening our own ties with the people of the developing nations of the world. And I think it is accurate to say that in world leadership the Government of Italy, under the leadership of Prime Minister Andreotti, is admired, respected, and also trusted.

So, we share with them a mutual responsibility for world security. We are interdependent. Their friendship means as much to us as does our friendship mean to the people of Italy.

We are also blessed in the United States with millions of Italian-Americans who have come here from their mother country and have enriched our own culture with the derivation of the historic achievements of ancient Italy.

For all these reasons it's a great honor to me this morning to welcome Prime Minister Andreotti who will now be sharing with me and others discussions about affairs that bind our nations together and challenges that address both our great countries. To use a phrase that Prime Minister Andreotti has made famous, "International solidarity among the democracies of the world is a very important foundation on which permanent peace can be found."

With great admiration, appreciation for his accomplishments, and an additional expression of the value of Italian friendship toward our country, Mr. Prime Minister, we welcome you to the United States.
Thank you very much.

THE PRIME MINISTER. Mr. President, I am particularly glad to find myself again on American soil in acceptance of the invitation that you addressed to me last December on the occasion of my visit to your predecessor and that you so kindly renewed last May in London when we met at the Downing Street summit and at the Atlantic Council.

There are two fundamental principles which guide the policies of democratic Italy, the frank and constructive friendship towards the United States of America and the passionate participation in the development of the European Community. And the latter in turn is tied to the American Continent by countless bonds, both historical and present.

This twofold aim is meant and lived by us not in a vision of hostility towards other regions of the world, but, on the contrary, as a stabilizing contribution to equilibrium and universal peace.

The Italian people, through hard sacrifices, certainly made less difficult by the breadth of the consensus in Parliament, were able to overcome last fall a critical moment which could have been dramatic for our economy and our finances.

The firm will to fight and tackle, with success, the present difficulty remains-first among them, unemployment and inflation. We know that only if our nation perseveres in fulfilling its duty, it can win the solidarity of its allies which at times is particularly vital to us--a solidarity which takes the form both of adequate credit from the international institutions and of the concrete availability of friendly countries to be ever more open and to accept the products of Italian labor.

But it is not only with the problems of the present moment that we must concern ourselves. There is an impelling need to discern the immediate and long-term possibilities and difficulties. First of all, that fundamental problem of energy to which you, Mr. President, have addressed yourself so vigorously and without delay in coordinated terms. We are eager for a close cooperation in this field, and this will figure in our discussions with you.

The country of Enrico Fermi and Guglielmo Marconi can, without committing a sin of pride, believe that it is a useful participant in the great research programs which will be all the more valid if formidable means, wills, and brains are concentrated on them.

Allow me, Mr. President, here from the White House to send a deep-felt message of fraternity and affection to the Italians of America, to their children, to their grandchildren. They represent in the number and quality a substantial component of the great American people and make up an indestructible basis for our friendship. The recent commemorations of the Bicentennial have drawn ample attention to their contribution, sometimes silent and humble, but always important, and of this we have been very proud.

Furthermore, our pride is in being able to show the old emigrants and their descendants that Italy is modernizing itself, it's strengthening itself in its spiritual heritage, and that it is capable of finding ways toward harmony and peace in the world.

Mr. President, on behalf of the Government, and interpreting the feelings of the Italian people, I address to you a warm and cordial greeting, which I wish to extend to Mrs. Carter, to the members of your family, and to all the American people.

Note: The President spoke at 10:40 a.m. on the South Lawn of the White House. Prime Minister Andreotti spoke in Italian, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

Jimmy Carter, Visit of Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti of Italy Remarks of the President and the Prime Minister at the Welcoming Ceremony. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/243413

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