Remarks on the Departure of King Hussein I of Jordan

November 3, 1981

The President. Your Majesty and ladies and gentlemen, let me say a few words about the frank and very constructive meetings that I've just completed with His Majesty. We had wide-ranging discussions about the dangers and the opportunities we face in the Middle East.

His Majesty was generous to share a perspective that he alone can bring to bear on these matters. His long and unique experience now assumes all the greater importance in this troubled area.

We agree on much -- on the necessity of making progress toward a just, lasting, and comprehensive Middle East peace, on the profound dangers which threaten the security of the region, and on the necessity to work in complementary ways to address these serious issues.

We also discussed bilateral matters. The security and well-being of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a matter of historic and enduring concern to the United States. We agreed that reinforcing this friendship is a primary goal and discussed how our relations can be strengthened.

We end this meeting on a note of optimism, realizing that today our friendship remains essential to the future of both our countries.

And, Your Majesty, we've been more than delighted with this visit and to have you here.

The King. Thank you, sir. Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to reiterate my feelings of very deep gratitude to you, sir, for the unique opportunity through which you enabled me to have the privilege and pleasure of meeting with you and visiting with friends in the United States of America at this critical juncture, critical time, which has a bearing and an effect on the future of our part of the world and on many common goals and interests that we share with you.

I thank you, sir, for the opportunity to be with a friend whom I admire and respect. Now more than before, I value our friendship. And it has been a very moving experience for me to meet you, sir, and to have the chance to talk with you frankly, openly on all matters of mutual interest.

I'll go back with impressions I will convey to my people and colleagues in the area. I can assure you that we stand together in our hopes for a better future, for a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, and from our vantage point, for the freedom of the Arab people, the safeguarding of their identity, and for a better future for generations to come.

Ever proud of the relations that exist between us, a deep-rooted friendship, our commitment to the same ideals and principles, and having had the chance to meet you, sir, I am very, very proud to look into the future with hope and conviction that we will work together and make our contribution for a better future and a better tomorrow.

We wish you, sir, every continued success, good health. God bless you. We are proud to be your friends, sir. And rest assured that we will be on our way home shortly, realizing that this particular meeting at this particular time, in comparison with all my previous visits to Washington, has left me more reassured than any in the past and more confident of the future.

Thank you very, very much.

Note: The President spoke at 11:15 a.m. on the South Lawn of the White House, following a meeting with the King in the Oval Office.