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Visit of Prime Minister Lynch of Ireland Remarks to Reporters Following a Meeting

November 08, 1979

THE PRIME MINISTER. Ladies and gentlemen, the President has invited me to say a few words on the outcome of our talks this morning. And I think we can say they were very, very comprehensive, and there was a recognition of the problems that we and the United States have in common as well as the problems that we, as members of the EEC, have also with the United States. There was a high degree of accord.

We recognized the need to move forward towards solving world problems like inflation and oil supply and felt that action taken, so far as we can, in consort would be for the mutual advantage not only of our two countries, not only of U.S. and the EEC but of the world generally.

We mentioned, of course, the degree of investment that is now taking place, and has been for some years, by American industrialists in Ireland, the favorable climate in which they operate there, and naturally, I expressed that that degree of investment would continue. And may I say, the President didn't demur, because I was able to satisfy him—even though he didn't need being satisfied—that this was to the advantage of the United States as well as to us in Ireland, because by locating in Ireland, thereby gaining access to the Common Market communities of 260 million people, access to markets that otherwise mightn't be available to them.

We spoke, of course, at some length on the problems in Northern Ireland, and we discussed, even though we haven't knowledge of the contents, the proposed initiative and the document to be published by the British in relation to finding a modus vivendi between the two communities in the north of Ireland and naturally expressed our interest in it and hoped that it would lead to a greater degree of cooperation and harmony and, ultimately, peace between those two communities in the north and to North Ireland as a whole.

We emphasized—reemphasized, shall I say, in the case of the President, on his part—that he endorsed again what he said in 1977—I referred to it publicly on the lawn earlier this morning—and emphasized also the need that terrorism should be put down no matter where it raises its head, especially in the north of Ireland, and those who support terrorists must certainly be deterred from doing so.

Perhaps I may jump the gun to some extent by saying that at the end of our talks, I suggested to the President that sometime he might find it possible to visit Ireland, and the President said he certainly would be interested. So, we're looking forward to that day, and I hope that we can give the President of the United States the kind of a warm welcome that I have received from the people of the United States and from the Chief Executive of the United States.

Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT. I think the Prime Minister has covered very well the attitude and the tone of our remarks and also the substantive nature of them. There are no bilateral differences between ourselves and Ireland. The discussions were exclusively devoted to the common purposes that we espouse and the harmony with which we work to resolve differences that exist between our two countries together, compared to the rest of the world.

I might say, especially, that we appreciate the extremely close working relationship with Prime Minister Jack Lynch in his role as President of the European Council, the community of nations in Europe. It's important to point out that we have no role to play in their deliberations. But our consultation with him on issues of mutual interest—the implementation of the Multilateral Trade Negotiations, the implementation of the agreement on energy conservation that was concluded in Tokyo, and other matters that are of common interest to all the people of Europe and our Nation—have been very productive.

It's important also to point out that a President of the United States represents more Irish people than the Prime Minister of Ireland, and I'm constantly aware of my duties to Ireland, Mr. Prime Minister. It would be almost impossible for a President to ignore those duties to your country and to the people who love your country.

We are very delighted, again, to have you here, and we will be discussing in great depth the problems in the Middle East, the need for a worldwide peace, for the control of nuclear weapons, for the control of terrorism, for the bringing of peace to Africa, and the honoring of human rights throughout the world.

And I would like to say again what I said this morning, that we will do everything we possibly can to prevent American citizens' assistance to the terrorists in Ireland, who do so much to obstruct the realization of the hopes and dreams of all the Irish people, no matter what their religious background or convictions might be, for a prosperous and a peaceful Ireland for all.

Thank you very much.

Note: The Prime Minister spoke at 12: 20 p.m. on the South Grounds of the White House.

Jimmy Carter, Visit of Prime Minister Lynch of Ireland Remarks to Reporters Following a Meeting Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/248760

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