Discussions With Prime Minister Robert Hawke of
The President. I was pleased to
welcome Prime Minister Bob Hawke to
the Prime Minister's last visit in 1986, I promised to reciprocate
discussions have covered a range of topics, including security and progress in
arms control. I shared with the Prime Minister my detailed assessment of my
meetings a few weeks ago in
Minister Hawke and I also talked a good deal about bilateral trade issues. The
We also exchanged views on refugees and regional issues, particularly on the importance of cooperation among Pacific States to maintain a secure, peaceful, and prosperous environment in which democratic government can flourish. The stabilizing role the United States-Australia alliance plays in supporting our common efforts has helped foster the phenomenal growth the Pacific region has enjoyed.
summing up, I cannot overstate the importance we attach to our relationship
you've been a good friend, and I value your counsel. This is our fourth
meeting, and I'm delighted that we've been able to have regular, personal
exchanges of views and ideas. I know the American people will extend to you a
warm welcome, in the tradition of hospitality that both Aussies and Yanks are
famous for, as you continue your visit in the
The Prime Minister. Thank you, Mr. President. Ladies and gentlemen, I confirm that the President and I have been able to engage in a very useful discussion covering the range of topics to which the President has alluded. We have confirmed the strengths and the enduring nature of the relationship between our two great countries, a relationship which, as I was able to say in Congress and confirm with the President, is based upon a shared commitment to principles which we regard as fundamental to the operation of a free and open soci- ety.
took the opportunity of thanking the President for the fact that during my
Prime Ministership, as he has said, he has welcomed
me here on a number of occasions; and I observed that this would almost
certainly be the last occasion on which I would have the opportunity of meeting
with him as President of the
The fact that today, as I said to the Congress, we have more than at any other stage in the postwar period reason to look with optimism to a future where the world can live more constructively at peace is in very large measure, as I told the President, due to his ideas, to his persistence, to his strength, to his determination to shape the agenda and the context of the discussions between the two superpowers. He has ensured properly that when he has come to speak he has spoken both from a position of strength and from a position where he knows that he has consulted and has the support of his allies and friends.
He has insisted that, in those discussions, that the vital question of human rights shall be a central part of the agenda. And the results have shown not merely in the negotiation for the first time of an agreement which has eliminated a particular class of nuclear weapons but also in the area of human rights, the significant advances that have been made in the attitudes and practices of the Soviet Union, that his determination in the shaping of the agenda has been right and that it has borne fruit. And I repeat that we are this day able to look with a greater degree of confidence to a world in which the resources of mankind may be able, with a greater degree of confidence, to be channeled into constructive uses is significantly a result, Mr. President, as I told you, of the time of your Presidency. And we are indebted to you for that.
We are also indebted to you for the fact that in your own country, you have presided over a period of record growth and uninterrupted prosperity. Our relationship, as I've said to you, is so good and so mature that where we do have any differences we are able to discuss those.
expressed to the President, in particular, the appreciation of the Government
and the people of Australia for the way in which he has reflected the fact that
the correspondence that takes place between us is no mere formality, but that
the President reads, takes account of, and carries with him in his
presentations the consideration of the Australian position. And in particular,
of course, I refer to the fact that I -- for some time now and particularly
just before the recent
And so, I conclude, Ron, as I began in our private talks, in saying in front of the media, thank you for a contribution to the relations between our two countries, which I believe has been unique on your part. And thank you for the contributions that you have made, which means that at the end of your Presidency the world is going to be a better and safer place than it was when you took office.
Note: The President spoke at in the East Room at the White House. Earlier, the President and the Prime Minister met in the Oval Office and then attended a luncheon in the Residence.