Visit of Mexican President Salinas
Welcoming Ceremony (1)
Less than 1 year ago, we met in Houston, Texas, as two Presidents-elect and began to focus on what for each of us is a major Presidential responsibility: defining and enhancing the U.S.-Mexican relationship.
You and I went to Houston certain of the importance of our responsibilities, for ours is one of the world's broadest and most complex bilateral relationships. But I think that few could have envisioned the degree of success that our talks would have. That success was embodied by what has come to be known as the "spirit of Houston"--our joint commitment to create a framework of mutual trust and understanding. And in the past year that spirit has strenthened our Mexican-American ties.
Together Mexico and the United States have worked to negotiate a solution to the debt question and develop greater cooperation in the war against drugs. Together we've improved opportunities for bilateral trade and investment and nurtured our environment; in sum, finding new ways to reaffirm old bonds. When President Salinas and I met last July in Paris, these steps were already underway--steps crucial to countries with such shared social, economic, and regional interests.
Now, as I welcome President Salinas to our capital for his first state visit, I look forward to continued progress and additional proof of how Mexico and the United States can work together toward common ends, toward positive results. Those ends are reflected in today's agenda, for as major trading partners we must explore ways to expand our commerce and, as members of the Organization of American States, discuss how democracy can be restored to Panama and free and fair elections held in Nicaragua.
This year we celebrate a century of joint projects by the International Boundary and Water Commission. We must renew that cooperation and continue to strengthen our assault on the plague of drug use and trafficking, for we know that what threatens one nation in our hemisphere threatens us all. In each case, strong bilateral cooperation is fundamental to an effective multilateral response. Thankfully our countries share the good will and dedication to confront and meet our challenges--meet them through mutual candor, through mutual respect.
I've often spoken of the need to recognize the permanent importance of the U.S.-Mexican relationship. And I'd like again to refer to that need today, for U.S.-Mexican affairs are vital to our respective national agendas. Our relations now are strong, and they must grow even stronger--and they will.
On behalf of the United States of America, President Salinas and Mrs. Salinas, let me welcome you both to the White House, and to this country, and to your friends.