Remarks at the Welcoming
Ceremony for Chancellor Helmut Kohl of the
The President. Today it's an honor to
welcome Chancellor Kohl. This marks his sixth visit to us as leader of the
When a buildup of intermediate-range missiles by our adversary threatened the peace, our alliance was put to the test. Chancellor Kohl and his government stood firm in the face of a well-orchestrated international and domestic propaganda campaign aimed at paralyzing our ability to respond. The deployment, however, of weapons is not an end in itself; it is a means to an end. What we seek is the security of our countries, the freedom of our peoples, and the peace of the world. Our strength of purpose, as well as our military might, are vehicles in the search for a lasting peace.
Chancellor Kohl's visit comes at an opportune time. I look forward to discussing with him my recent meetings with General Secretary Gorbachev and subsequent events. There is, as I will explain, ample reason for optimism. Whatever progress is made, it will be based on the solid foundation Germans and Americans have built together, particularly in the last half decade.
years ago I presented a plan which would have reduced American and Soviet
longer range INF missiles to zero globally, thus called the zero option.
Building on the diplomacy of interceding years as well as the deployment of our
cruise and Pershings, General Secretary Gorbachev and
I came close in
the next agreement is finally reached with the
record of the European peoples is long and glorious. In so many ways,
scientists, at this moment, are making great strides toward developing
technology that can protect mankind against ballistic missiles, and that
protection applies to the United States, our allies, and, yes, even our
adversaries, if need be. A purely defensive system that makes these missiles
ineffective also makes them more negotiable. A defensive system makes an arms
reduction agreement more likely because it offers protection against cheating.
This and not trust will lead to reducing, and we hope ultimately eliminating,
the nuclear arsenals that now threaten all humanity. If a defensive system was
not a viable option, the
can open up new doors to peace and security, and that's what our Strategic
Defense Initiative is all about. The time has come to rechannel
the efforts of some of our best minds to develop tools which can be used to
maintain peace, tools that protect rather than kill. The
Chancellor Kohl and the German people have been steadfast in their support and in their friendship for many years. They know, as we do, that our destinies and those of all free people are tied. We strive for a free, secure, and prosperous world -- a world at peace; and we do it, together, with our friends and allies, the German people. So, it gives me great pleasure to welcome Chancellor Helmut Kohl, a partner, colleague, and friend.
The Chancellor. Mr. President, Mrs.
Reagan, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, let me thank you in my own name and
on behalf of my wife and my delegation for the friendly and warm welcome you
have extended to us. I'm delighted to be in
And it gives me particular pleasure, Mr. President, to see you again -- a good friend of our country and an esteemed personal friend. This is the seventh time that we have met since I took over the office of Federal Chancellor back in 1982, and this figure alone gives an indication of the intensity and closeness of the relations between our two countries and governments. And in addition, we have often been in contact, consulting each other by letter or telephone. And I would like to take this opportunity before the public of your country, here, to express my appreciation and my great gratitude for this trustful cooperation. I thank you for this form of close cooperation which is based on mutual trust, and it is a token of a friendship and partnership underpinned by shared values, ideals, and interests.
and Americans are united with the British, the French, the Italians, and others
in the Atlantic alliance, an alliance of historical dimension. It is a
community based on reciprocity, a defensive alliance against aggression and
political blackmail, an alliance for the preservation of democracy, freedom,
and human rights. The security of the Federal Republic of Germany is
indissolubly linked with this alliance and through our partnership with the
European allies render an important contribution to our common defense. And the
12 states united in the European Community are undergoing a dynamic process of
political and economic integration through which the European pillar of the
alliance will be strengthened. And we Europeans, Mr. President, have recognized
that this is the only way in which we can play a role in tomorrow's work. In
your speech to the European Parliament in
remains our goal -- and I know that I share it with you, Mr. President -- to
create peace and security with ever fewer weapons. In
Mr. President, in your impressive speech to the young Germans gathered at Hamburg Castle, in my home district, in 1985, you said: ``The future belongs to the free.'' Let us continue to work together for this goal. We must convince the young people, the young generation, in the United States, in the Federal Republic of Germany, all over the world, that it is worthwhile to stand up for our values for freedom, democracy, and the rule of law. You have been persuasive and vigorous, Mr. President, in your support of an increase in youth exchanges between our peoples. For that, I am grateful to you, and we will discuss this subject further. Together, we shall create conditions under which even more young people from our two countries will have the chance to get to know one another.
President, under your leadership, the
Thank you very much.
Note: The President spoke at at the South Portico of the White House, where Chancellor Kohl was accorded a formal welcome with full military honors. Chancellor Kohl spoke in German, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter. Following the ceremony, the President and Chancellor Kohl met in the Oval Office and then in the Cabinet Room with members of their staffs.