PRESIDENT CARTER. This morning the people of the United States are honored by having as our guest a great leader of a great country. President Ceausescu comes here from Romania with his wife, Elena, and it is a great personal pleasure for me on behalf of our country to welcome them.
This is the fourth visit by President Ceausescu to the United States, and my predecessors have honored themselves by visiting the nation of Romania.
It’s accurate to say that in the last 10 years or more, the friendly relationships between the United States and Romania have increased and improved rapidly to the satisfaction and to the benefit of our people.
Trade between our two countries in the last 10 years has been multiplied 10 times over. And because of the rapidly improving relations that still exist, we expect the volume of trade to more than double in the next 3 years.
It’s also of great benefit to me as President to have a chance to consult with a national and an international leader like our guest today. Their influence as Romanian leaders throughout the international world is exceptional. Because of the strong commitments of the President and the independence of the people, Romania has been able to serve as a bridge among nations with highly divergent views and interests and among leaders who would find it difficult under some circumstances to negotiate directly with each other.
One recent notable achievement of President Ceausescu was to be instrumental in arranging the historic visit of President Sadat of Egypt to the capital of Israel in Jerusalem. Both of those countries have found in Romania an avenue of communication and understanding that’s been very valuable to them, to the Middle East, and to world peace.
There are differences, obviously, between the United States and Romania, in our political system and also in our military alliances. But the factors which bind us together are much more profound and of much greater benefit to our countries. We share common beliefs. We believe in strong national sovereignty. We believe in preserving the independence of our nations and also of our people. We believe in the importance of honoring territorial integrity throughout the world. We believe in equality among nations in bilateral dealings, one with another, and also in international councils. We believe in the right of every country to be free from interference in its own internal affairs by another country. And we believe that world peace can come—which we both devoutly hope to see—through mutual respect, even among those who have some differences between us.
Our goals are also the same, to have a just system of economics and politics, to let the people of the world share in growth, in peace, in personal freedom, and in the benefits to be derived from the proper utilization of natural resources.
We believe in enhancing human rights. We believe that we should enhance, as independent nations, the freedom of our own people. And Romania has been instrumental in pursuing the goals of the Helsinki conference, in particular, building the mutual confidence factors that can let the nations of Eastern Europe and the nations of Western Europe understand one another better and build up legitimate trust through that understanding.
We also believe in a common goal-which President Ceausescu has endorsed forcefully and publicly—in the principle of world disarmament, based on mutually beneficial agreements and based on an enhanced prospect for peace.
Mr. President, Mrs. Ceausescu, on behalf of the American people, I want to extend my expression of honor that you are here and the warmest welcome to the United States.
Thank you very much.
PRESIDENT CEAUSESCU. Mr. President, esteemed Mrs. Carter:
It is with particular pleasure that myself, my wife, and the associates accompanying me are visiting again the United States at the kind invitation extended by you, Mr. President, and by Mrs. Carter.
I should like to begin by addressing to you and to the people of America the warmest greetings of the people of Romania, who are most desirous to entertain and develop friendly relations and cooperation with the great people of the United States.
Our visit here takes place at a time when the relations between Romania and the United States have seen continuous progress. Indeed, in the last 10 years, there was a significant growth in our economic exchanges, which have increased almost 10 times over, as well as in our cooperation in the field of science, culture, and in the exchange of citizens between our two countries.
I do hope that in the course of our talks these days we shall be able to identify new opportunities, so that in the forthcoming years we shall make even more significant progress in our relationship, in full accord with the basic interests of our two nations and with the interests of cooperation and peace throughout the world.
It is true, as you mentioned, sir, that our two countries have different social systems. But I believe that in the world of today this should not be an obstacle in the way of more active cooperation in all fields, based on mutual respect of each country’s independence and sovereignty, renunciation of the use or threat of force, and mutually advantageous cooperation.
I would like to mention with satisfaction, as well, that it is precisely on that basis that the relations between Romania and the United States have been established and are now developing.
So, Mr. President, I think we can be satisfied with the present level of the relations between our two countries. As for the state of international affairs, unfortunately we are still facing events which are both complex and complicated.
The world is now confronted with severe economic problems. In many areas of the world there are still conflicts, and threatening clouds are menacing the peace of the world with very severe consequences.
In the face of this situation, it is now necessary for all countries, irrespective of their size, of their military might, of their social system, to take action and to uphold the principles of peaceful coexistence in order to build a kind of cooperation based on equal rights and mutual respect, and to ensure to each nation the right to develop in freedom without any outside interference.
As participants and signatories of the Helsinki documents on European security, both Romania and the United States are working for the implementation of those documents, which we both see as one whole in the economic, cultural, scientific, humanitarian fields, as well as in the field of military disengagement.
Unfortunately, at Belgrade, no significant progress was made. That is why we believe it necessary now that before our next meeting in Madrid, new efforts should be made in order to meet the peoples’ aspiration for peace and cooperation.
It is also true that no effort should be spared in order to bring peace to the Middle East, leading to the withdrawal of Israel from the territories occupied as a result of 1967 war, the settlement of the Palestinian question, including the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, and by guaranteeing the independence, sovereignty, and integrity of all the states in the area, which should establish their relations on the principles of good neighborly relations and cooperation.
We would like to work together closely on such matters as disarmament. We are hopeful that at the forthcoming Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly, practical results will be worked out, leading to actual disarmament and, in particular, nuclear disarmament, enabling us thus to build a world of cooperation and peace for all.
Although the United States is a developed country—I would say a highly developed country—and Romania is still a developing one, such problems as the elimination of underdevelopment and the establishment of a new international economic order are matters of equal concern for both our countries, because without ensuring new relations, new democratic relations based on equal rights and mutual advantage, we shall not be able to eliminate underdevelopment and to ensure economic stability and progress to the world.
It is also true that there are many problems on which our two countries can well work together, and with good results, too. And I hope that our talks will further strengthen the basis for our mutual cooperation, aimed at meeting their common interests of our two nations and also meeting the aim of a better world, a world with more justice, in which each and every people should be able to dedicate their efforts to their happiness, to their well-being, to their freedom.
It is my conviction that all this will come true. And once again, I should like to express my wish to see good cooperation develop between our two nations and our wish to the friendly people of America every success and peace.
Note: The President spoke at 10:45 on the South Lawn of the White House. President Ceausescu spoke in Romanian, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: President Iohannis, thank you for being here. It’s an honor to welcome such a good friend of America to the White House.
As you know, the people of Romania and America share much in common – a love of freedom, proud cultures, rich traditions, and a vast and storied landscape to call home. The relationship between our two countries stretches back well over a century. But today we especially reaffirm and celebrate our strategic partnership that began 20 years ago next month. That partnership covers many dimensions, including economic, military, and cultural ties. And today we are making those ties even stronger.
Mr. President, your visit comes at an important moment not just in this partnership, but among all of the responsible nations of the world. I have just returned from a historic trip to Europe and the Middle East, where I worked to strengthen our alliances, forge new friendships, and unite all civilized peoples in the fight against terrorism. No civilized nation can tolerate this violence, or allow this wicked ideology to spread on its shores.
I addressed a summit of more than 50 Arab and Muslim leaders – a unique meeting in the history of nations – where key players in the region agreed to stop supporting terrorism, whether it be financial, military or even moral support.
The nation of Qatar, unfortunately, has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level, and in the wake of that conference, nations came together and spoke to me about confronting Qatar over its behavior. So we had a decision to make: Do we take the easy road, or do we finally take a hard but necessary action? We have to stop the funding of terrorism. I decided, along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, our great generals and military people, the time had come to call on Qatar to end its funding – they have to end that funding – and its extremist ideology in terms of funding.
I want to call on all other nations to stop immediately supporting terrorism. Stop teaching people to kill other people. Stop filling their minds with hate and intolerance. I won’t name other countries, but we are not done solving the problem, but we will solve that problem. Have no choice.
This is my great priority because it is my first duty as President to keep our people safe. Defeating ISIS and other terror organizations is something I have emphasized all during my campaign and right up until the present. To do that, stop funding, stop teaching hate, and stop the killing.
For Qatar, we want you back among the unity of responsible nations. We ask Qatar, and other nations in the region to do more and do it faster.
I want to thank Saudi Arabia, and my friend, King Salman, and all of the countries who participated in that very historic summit. It was truly historic. There has never been anything like it before and perhaps there never will be again. Hopefully, it will be the beginning of the end of funding terrorism. It will, therefore, be the beginning of the end to terrorism. No more funding.
I also want to thank the Romanian people for everything they contribute to our common defense and to the fight against the evil menace of terrorism. They have their own difficulties with it, and they’ve come a long way and they’re doing a lot. Romania has been a valuable member of the coalition to defeat ISIS, and it’s the fourth-largest contributor of troops in Afghanistan. There, 23 of your citizens have paid the ultimate price. And America honors their sacrifice.
I want to recognize President Iohannis for his leadership in committing Romania this year to increase its defense spending from 1.4 percent of GDP to over 2 percent. We hope our other NATO allies will follow Romania’s lead on meeting their financial obligations and paying their fair share for the cost of defense. But I will say this, that because of our actions, money is starting to pour into NATO. The money is starting to pour in. Other countries are starting to realize that it’s time to pay up, and they’re doing that. Very proud of that fact.
As you know, I have been an advocate for strengthening our NATO Alliance through greater responsibility and burden-sharing among member nations. And that is what is happening. Because, together, we can confront the common security challenges facing the world.
Mr. President, I want to applaud your courage and your courageous efforts in Romania to fight corruption and defend the rule of law. This work is necessary to create an environment where trade and commerce can flourish and where citizens can prosper. I look forward to working with you to deepen the ties of both commerce and culture between our two countries.
Romanians have made many contributions to the United States, and to the world. Very notable among them was Nobel Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, who was born in Romania and, sadly, passed away almost one year ago. And I understand that earlier this week, the American Jewish Committee presented President Iohannis with its very prestigious Light Unto the Nations Award, for his work to further Holocaust remembrance and education in Romania. I join the AJC in saluting your leadership in that vital cause.
The people of Romania have endured many, many hardships, but they have made a truly remarkable, historical journey. The future of Romania and Romania’s relationship with the United States is very, very bright.
President Iohannis, I thank you for your leadership, and I thank you again for being here today. I look forward to strengthening our alliance with your country and our bonds with your people. The relationship has been good, but now it’s stronger than ever.
Thank you very much.
PRESIDENT IOHANNIS: President Trump, thank you so much for the words you found for Romania, for the Romanian people, and for me. Thank you very much for the invitation to be here today with you. And thank you so much for arranging this nice weather in this place.
Mr. President, I’m very glad that we had such a good meeting. And this is due to your strong leadership, and this is also due to our strong partnership. Obviously, the fact that we celebrate 20 years of strategic partnership this year is important for both our nations, and it is important to know – and this is what I want to underline – that this partnership with the United States of America shaped Romania as it is today.
Romania, a solid democracy with a solid and sustainable economic growth. Romania which stands together with the U.S. troops in Afghanistan. We stand together in Iraq. Mr. President, this partnership contributed greatly to what Romania is today. And this partnership was and is very important.
And I think this partnership not only has to continue, this partnership has to become stronger. This partnership has to define our bilateral relation, and this partnership has to contribute to solve so many problems.
President Trump, you mentioned terrorism. I’m very glad that, due to your strong leadership, NATO decided to go against terrorism. Your involvement made so many nations conscious of the fact that we have to share the burden inside NATO. And this is why Romania also decided – and if I’m right, I think this is the first country during your mandate to step up to 2 percent of GDP for defense spending.
A significant part of this defense spending is going into strategic acquisitions. And I hope, President Trump, that we find good ways together to make good use of this money.
Romania is very conscious of the fact that we stand on the Eastern Flank and we heavily rely on your partnership, President Trump, because we cannot stand there without the U.S. We cannot stand there alone. On the other hand, our partnership has a huge opportunity to step up not only in security matters, but also in commercial and economic matters. And this is very important.
Romania is a member of the European Union. And I think it’s the best interest of you, Mr. President, to have a strong European Union as a partner. This is vital for all of us. Our relationship, the transatlantic link is vital. The transatlantic link is not about diplomacy, about policy – it’s at the basis of our Western civilization. And together, we will make it stronger. Together, we will make it better.
NATO and the European Union do not have to compete against each other. They have to work together. They have to work in such a manner as to produce synergetic effects. Make NATO stronger. Make European stronger. Make the United States of America stronger.
And this is what we decided, President Trump and I, to make our partnership stronger, better, more enduring. And this will lead very soon to an enhanced economic exchange – to better commerce. And this is what we all decide and what we wish, because we are responsible, President Trump and I, not only for the security. We are responsible for the well-being of our citizens. And this is what we are deciding to do.
Thank you so much, President Trump.
Citiţi aici sesiunea de întrebări şi răspunsuri.