Remarks of President Reagan and President Miguel De la Madrid Hurtado of Mexico at the Annual Meeting of the Mexico-United States Interparliamentary Conference

May 17, 1984

President Reagan. Well, welcome. I think it's a wonderful coincidence that these meetings have coincided and that we have an opportunity together to welcome you here for your own meetings.

President De la Madrid and myself have just concluded our second meeting. We've had good conversations, and we both listened to what the other had to say.

I believe that we both sharpened our perceptions and, at the same time, know we deepened our personal friendship. And like good friends, we spoke openly and with candor on those few issues on which there might have been differences between us. But let me hasten to say that we found that the differences were not with regard to our goals.

We both share a commitment to democracy, to the greater economic well-being, and a secure peace in all the Americas. Our differences, where there were any, were only with regard to the means of reaching the goals and objectives that we share. And both our delegations at the ministerial level worked very hard and, I think, have made great progress on a number of bilateral issues.

And let me just say to all of you here -- and I think I'm really speaking for what was the tone of our conversations -- we must remember that we are all in this Western Hemisphere. Our nations were born of people that were seeking the same things -- freedom, better life in this New World that was here for our forefathers to discover. We've been given great gifts, resources, technology and, above all, that spirit of freedom.

Early in my administration I made a trip down through Central America and into South America and in all of them said the same thing. There have been misunderstandings between us in the past, and maybe there's been an insensitivity on the part of our own country, the United States. But what I wanted to find out was, how could we all meet as partners here in this Western Hemisphere, recognizing that from the tip of South America all the way to the North Slope of Alaska, we are all Americans. We are all related in a sense that is not true in any other part of the world -- that when we cross a border from one country into another, we still have that common heritage.

And if we look at ourselves, 650 million people in North, Central, and South America, and we look at the potential of what we can achieve, we cannot only be a great force for good here in the Western Hemisphere, we can be a great force for good in the entire world.

And thank you again for being here. Thank you very much. We're proud and pleased to have you. Thank you.

President De la Madrid. Gentlemen, legislators of the United States and of Mexico, it is a great pleasure for me to be able to greet you at the beginning of a new interparliamentary meeting between the United States and Mexico.

In accordance with our constitutional norms are the relations, the formal relations of our countries are formed through a very complex process that is in the hands of the legislative and the executive bodies. It is one of the most serious responsibilities that this Presidential system gives the heads of the executive branch, both in the United States and in Mexico. But there is no doubt that the political process through which the foreign policy is formed has as one of its basic ingredients the opinions of the Congresses and, particularly, of the Senates.

That is why it is very promising that this meeting among legislators is beginning precisely when the meeting between the Presidents has just finished. I agree with what my friend, President Reagan, has said just a few minutes back. Our dialog has progressed as it should between good friends that work with dignity. Both sides have been led by the main guideline of our conversations, which has been the interest of our peoples, mutual respect and, also, respect for one another's truth.

As President Reagan has already said, we have made progress during these conversations. We have made progress in coming to a better understanding of each other and also in keeping each other better informed and bringing about certain solutions to some of our problems, problems which are every day more complex and deeper between Mexico and the United States.

I have no doubt that the work that you will be beginning today will be another positive and constructive episode. An exchange of points of view within a framework of sincerity, of respect, and of dignity will give each one of our countries new elements of judgment in order to continue to work towards a stronger friendship and a relationship which is every day more cordial and more sincere.

Gentlemen, my best wishes for your success in your work.

Note: President Reagan spoke at 9:31 a.m. in the East Room at the White House. President De la Madrid spoke in Spanish, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

Prior to the meeting, the two Presidents had a breakfast meeting in the Blue Room.