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Public Papers - 1989

Remarks on Signing the Proclamation Commemorating the Bicentennial of Bastille Day, the French Revolution, and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen


The President. Well, let me just say that I am very pleased to see Ambassador de Margerie here, especially in the company of Senator Mathias. I'm looking forward very much to visiting France next week for the bicentennial -- this marvelous celebration that I will be privileged to witness and be a part of -- and then, of course, looking forward to the economic summit that will follow.

I want to thank Senator Mathias, whose committee has done this outstanding work in encouraging Americans to celebrate the bicentennial of the French Revolution. And this proclamation that I'm about to sign commemorates both the bicentennial of the taking of the Bastille and the close ties between our two countries.

And one example of these ties is the close connection between our Bill of Rights and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen. And the themes of liberty and human rights which run through these two documents are fundamental to our two nations and to the people of Eastern Europe, where I'm going to be visiting next week, as well.

And so, today, as 200 years ago, France and America are still partners in liberty. And thank you, Mr. Ambassador, thank you, Senator, for all you are doing to demonstrate this to the whole world.

And now I might sit -- we sign this first, I think.

[At this point, the President signed the proclamation.]

Reporter. Mr. President, would you take one question on your trip?

The President. Nope. [Laughter] I took 30 of them yesterday. Come on.

Q. But not from us.

Ambassador de Margerie. Thank you, Mr. President.

The President. I really look forward to it.

Q. The Polish officials are afraid of inciting a riot in Poland. Any comment on that?

The President. We'll be well received in Poland -- no riot.

Thank you, sir.

Note: The President spoke at 11:08 a.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Emmanuel Jacquin de Margerie, French Ambassador to the United States. The proclamation is listed in Appendix E at the end of this volume.

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