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Public Papers - 1992 - February

Remarks at the Departure Ceremony for Prime Minister Carl Bildt of Sweden

1992-02-20

Mr. Prime Minister, I am delighted to have welcomed you on your first official visit to Washington and to have shared very profitable, congenial talks.

Prime Minister Bildt comes here at a time when Europe is being transformed and when Sweden itself is beginning a new chapter in its history. As the Prime Minister remarked on his election night last September, the winds of political change blowing through Europe have finally reached Sweden.

Well, he understands well his nation's past. Just more than 100 years ago, his great-great-grandfather was Prime Minister. But even more, Prime Minister Bildt represents a rising generation of leadership for a people seeking a new role in Europe and a new birth of freedom and initiative in Swedish domestic policy.

We welcome Sweden's desire to play a more active part in the emerging global community. The Prime Minister is committed to democracy, to free markets. And I know that as active partners in the common endeavor to create a free, open, and prosperous world, the United States and Sweden will make a real difference.

Sweden and the U.S. share a deep and unswerving commitment to peace, and Sweden is a vital partner in our global nonproliferation efforts. A model peacekeeper, Sweden has shown its commitment to this function of collective security many times, with distinction, in the United Nations system. Sweden has taken a firm stand against terrorism, supporting our efforts to bring to justice those who sabotaged Pan Am Flight 103. And during the Gulf war, Sweden provided humanitarian and economic assistance.

Our partnership in the service of freedom and democracy is not a new one. Americans and Swedes share more than 350 years of friendship, dating back to 1638 when the Kingdom of Sweden established a colony along the Christina River in Delaware. American patriots of Swedish origin fought in our Revolutionary War and signed the Declaration of Independence. Sweden was one of the first nations to sign a treaty of friendship and commerce with a newly independent United States.

That legacy of partnership continues today on contemporary issues, for example, through the new investor visa arrangements our Government agreed upon today. And after today's talks I am confident that this friendship will continue to flourish.

Mr. Prime Minister, let me explain to you our sincere thanks for this new spirit of cooperation and friendship. It strengthens our relations. And your visit has clearly helped build the basis for a solid partnership as we face together the challenges that lie ahead.

Thank you for coming our way. And the best of luck to you, sir.

Note: The President spoke at 1:19 p.m. on the South Lawn at the White House.

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