Discussions With Prime Minister Ciriaco
De Mita of Italy
June 14, 1988
The President. Ladies and gentlemen,
it's been my great pleasure to meet today with Prime Minister De Mita of Italy, who is no stranger to
the White House. But this is the first time that he comes as Prime Minister,
and I want to begin by offering our warmest congratulations.
regard this visit as extremely important. As members of the Atlantic alliance
and as major industrial states, the United States and the Republic of Italy have much to discuss
and much to do. Accordingly, our discussions today were wide-ranging and
extremely useful. Although our agenda was far too long for me to discuss in
detail, let me just give you some of the highlights. First, I gave the Prime
Minister my views on where our relationship stands with the Soviet Union and where it is going.
I told him that we're very pleased with the progress that we've made on the
broad agenda and, of course, with the entry into force of the INF treaty. I
also told him of my firm belief that without Italy's courage,
determination, and support throughout INF deployment and negotiations there
would have been no treaty. In arms reductions and the other areas on our
agenda, much work remains to be done. We will continue to depend, and
gratefully so, upon Italy's support as an ally
and advice as a friend.
of the important issues before our alliance is where we will redeploy the 401st
Tactical Fighter Wing, the F - 16's. Italy's willingness, at NATO
invitation, to consider accepting the planes on its soil is typical of Italy's serious approach
toward its alliance commitments. Its willingness to do its part, to share the
risks and responsibilities as well as the benefits of NATO membership, is
Prime Minister and I will meet again shortly in Toronto, where we'll
participate in our economic summit. We reviewed some of the issues that we
expect to discuss there, including Italy's welcome initiative to
strengthen international environmental protection activities. Prime Minister De
Mita and I also talked about our mutual desire for a
peaceful end to the conflict between Iran and Iraq and for a comprehensive
peace in the Middle
I know there's deep interest and concern among the Italian people on these
issues, and we appreciate the positive role that the Government of Italy has
played in that troubled region.
issue of great concern to all of us is international terrorism. In the last 6
months, Italy has been the victim of
two shocking incidents: the death of one of your close friends, Mr. Prime
Minister, in which I want to extend again my deepest condolences, and an attack
on a USO club in Naples, in which an American
servicewoman was killed. These incidents, terrible as they are, only serve to
strengthen our resolve. And they remind us of the importance of our cooperative
efforts against the human scourge of terrorism.
Prime Minister, in closing, I must confess that 6 months ago I said that
U.S.-Italian relations could hardly be better, but remarkably, they are. In
fact, I believe that we've made significant progress in a number of areas, and
I'm confident that we'll continue this trend for the foreseeable future. Mr.
Prime Minister, we're indeed pleased and honored to have had you as our guest.
The Prime Minister. I should like to thank
President Reagan for the welcome extended to me today, which bears witness to
the longstanding bonds of friendship that exist between Italy and the United States.
have once again expressed to the President the admiration and esteem of the
Italian Government for the courage and determination with which he has pursued
his farsighted plan to effectively ease the tensions between East and West
during his recent discussions with the General Secretary of the Soviet
Communist Party, Gorbachev. Italy warmly welcomes the
outcome of the Moscow summit and believes
that it is a prelude to further and more wide-ranging agreements along the
paths of peace.
reaffirm the fact that Italy will continue with
conviction to share in the commitments and undertakings of the alliance which
binds us, safeguards our freedoms, and underpins the development of the West.
The prospects for a lasting peace which are now emerging in the world require
us to prevent any weakening of Atlantic solidarity, to refrain from any actions
of unilateral disarmament, and to ensure that differential security zones are
not created in Europe. I also stressed to President Reagan the
importance we attribute to strengthening the relationship between the United States and Europe -- thatEurope which represents the
other major goal of the Italian Government and the major contribution which a
strong, united, and prosperous Europe -- coupled with a solid
Euro-American partnership -- can make towards the peace and development of the
President Reagan, I reviewed the main aspects of the international situation.
We expressed a shared concern at the protracted states of crisis in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, southern Africa, and Latin America. We also expressed the
hope that the improved climate of trust which now characterizes the dialog
between East and West may exercise a favorable effect on these crises and help
lead to peaceful and fair settlements.
attention was devoted to the preparations for the summit of the seven most
industrialized nations in Toronto in relation to economic
growth, trade issues, and problems of international indebtedness. In Toronto, the seven will have to
demonstrate their political farsightedness in order to withstand any backward
protectionist tendencies and any selfish inward-looking attitudes. I also
reminded President Reagan of the particular importance which Italy attaches to the risks
connected with the deterioration of the environment and the fight against the
worldwide scourge of drugs.
we reviewed bilateral relations between the United States and Italy and expressed our
satisfaction at how well they are faring, along with the hope that cooperation
and exchanges in every sector will continue to increase and intensify. There is
a fundamental bond which unites Italy and the United States in this respect, and
that is represented by Americans of Italian origin. They continue to make a
growing contribution to strengthening the ties between our two countries.
conversations have enhanced my personal conviction that there exists a special
relationship between Italy and the United States, a permanent political
solidarity from which our two countries will greatly benefit in their
commitment to the pursuit of a future characterized by peace, justice, and
Note: The President
spoke at at the South Portico of the White House. The Prime Minister
spoke in Italian, and his remarks were translated by