Discussions With Chancellor Helmut Kohl of the
The President. I have just completed a
highly useful and productive discussion with Chancellor Kohl, on this, the
sixth anniversary of his first visit to the White House as Chancellor of the
Federal Republic of Germany. The many conversations we've had together
demonstrate not only the close ties that exist between the Federal Republic of
Germany and the
Today we reviewed a broad range of important international issues. We discussed how our two countries, working together and within the NATO alliance, could advance the cause of peace and freedom.
Chancellor briefed me on his recent visit to
reaffirmed the strong American commitment to
We reviewed the positive state of the NATO alliance. While seeking security and stability at lower levels of armaments, the United States and West Germany, together with our allies, will ensure that our conventional and nuclear forces are kept up to date. We also agreed that, for the foreseeable future, there is no viable alternative to NATO's defense strategy of deterrence based on flexible response and a forward defense. The Chancellor voiced support for an international conference on chemical weapons, and we reaffirmed our common goal of negotiating a global ban on these terrible weapons.
also revised trade and economic -- reviewed, I should say, trade and economic
issues. Both the Chancellor and I expressed satisfaction with the present state
of the world economy. I congratulated the Chancellor on the decision of the
European Community member states to take major steps toward closer economic
integration by the end of 1992 and expressed our concern that this be done in a
manner that promotes fair trade internationally. We agreed that trade
protectionism must be avoided and reiterated our support for an amicable
resolution of the
this marks my last meeting as President with you. Six years ago, we stood
together as I announced the formation of a Presidential Commission to
commemorate the tricentennial of the first German
settlement in the
And, Helmut, I hope you will convey to the German people my personal thanks for their prayers and support over the past 8 years. And let me just add a final personal word to you for your friendship and counsel. Thank you, Helmut, and may God bless you, and may God bless our two great nations.
The Chancellor. Mr. President,
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to thank you, first of all, Mr.
President, for the warm words of friendship which you have found for my
country. The friendship between the
Ron, you already mentioned this. Today I met with you for the last time during
your term of office. For 6 years, we have worked together excellently. Our
meetings have always been meetings between friends. And I would like to thank
you from all my heart for this personal contact and personal friendship which
we have, for the exchange of experiences and views which we had, and also for
the friendship which the elder statesmen gave to the younger statesmen. During
our respective terms of office, the relations between
me cite as an example the alliance consultations parallel to the U.S.-Soviet
INF negotiations. They were absolutely crucial to the success of the
negotiations. I should also, of course, like to thank you, Mr. President, for
your bold and resolute commitment to improving East-West relations. Any kind of
worsening of the situation between East and West will be felt like an
earthquake in our country, in the Federal Republic of Germany, and of course,
first of all in Berlin. I should like to thank you very much also for the
sympathy and the interest which you have always shown to us and to the
interests of our country, which is a divided country, of course. And your
speech very near to the Berlin Wall, at the Brandenburg Gate, is unforgettable
to all of us. This wasn't only just a speech but it showed a very personal
commitment to the cause of
during your two visits to the Federal Republic of Germany, you have always also
raised the issue of human contacts between the
1987, and this year, too, you declared the 6th of October German-American Day.
And today, dear Ron, as you also pointed out, the
I think we can say, Mr. President, dear Ron, we can put it very briefly and say: These have been good years. I think that both of us have paved the way for development which will be pursued by your successor in office. And I should, at the end of my remarks, mention one important example. I should like to mention the agreement and the commitment which we have made to exchange young people, students, but also other young people who travel from your country to our country and from our country to your country. That is to say, we try to plant young trees so that a strong forest may grow, which serves as a shade for all of us.
Ron, once again, from all my heart, thank you for all you did, and God bless you in all you do.
Note: The President spoke at at the South Portico of the White House. The Chancellor spoke in German, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter. Earlier, the President and the Chancellor met in the Oval Office and then attended a luncheon in the Residence.