THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) _________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release February 28, 1994 REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AND PRIME MINISTER JOHN MAJOR AT WELCOMING CEREMONY Air Force Reserve Base Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
5:44 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Senator Wofford, Congressman Coyne, Mayor Murphy, Commissioners Forrester and Flaherty, and my friends. I'm glad to be back in Pittsburgh. (Applause.) I want to thank the band for their wonderful music. (Applause.) And the Scouts for your fine salute and your fine work, thank you. (Applause.)
And I want you to join me in welcoming Prime Minister John Major back to the United States of America. (Applause.)
It's funny how this trip came about. Last July in Tokyo of all places, John Major and I were sitting around at night talking; and he said, you know, my grandfather worked in the steel mills in Pittsburgh, and my father lived and worked here a while in the late 1800s before moving back to England. So I thought the next time John Major came to the United States, he ought to see America and come to Pittsburgh. (Applause.)
I want to emphasize to all of you here in the heartland of America how important the relationship between the United States and Great Britain is. We worked together to support reform in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the end of the Cold War, in Russia, and in all those other former communist states to try to give democracy a chance.
We worked together for a new world trade agreement to bring down trade barriers and open world markets to the products that American workers make. We worked together to make NATO stronger and more adaptable, to reach out to all those nations in the former communist world and give them a chance to work with us to unify Europe in peace and democracy, in ways that will make America a safer and more prosperous place for decades to come. We're working together today to respond to the terrible tragedy in Bosnia; to try to bring an end to the killing and to bring peace and to keep that conflict from spreading in ways that could threaten the interests of the United States and Great Britain, as well as the conscience of the civilized world. (Applause.)
And we do have a great partnership, as Senator Wofford noted, right here in Pittsburgh between British Air and USAir. It's been a good thing for the people in this town. (Applause.) Tomorrow we'll have a chance to talk about that and talk about some of the other tough issues that we face -- the state of reform in Russia. The Prime Minister and I have both been in Moscow in the last couple of months. A struggle over the future of reform in Russia is underway. We have a vital stake in the outcome. We have to continue to encourage democracy, respect for neighbors and real economic reform in that country. It's in your interest and mine.
We also hope we can continue to press for peace in Bosnia. Britain is the second largest contributor to the United
Nations troop effort in Bosnia, and over the last year, I want to say to all of you that the British have saved thousands of innocent civilians' lives there by their presence. (Applause.) We intend to continue working with them until we get a just and fair peace in Bosnia.
We're going to discuss what we want to do with NATO. We're going to discuss the political courage and the vision shown by Prime Minister Major and Prime Minister Reynolds of Ireland in working toward peace in Northern Ireland together. (Applause.) Their historic joint declaration offers new hope for that goal of peace. And as the President of this country, a country full of Americans of British decent and full of Americans of Irish decent, I again urge an end to the use of violence as a means of solving political problems and achieving political aims. (Applause.) It has not place in that effort. (Applause.)
The next time I see John Major after this trip, I'll be visiting Britain in June to commemorate the 50th anniversary of D-Day, and to affirm for a new generation of Britains and Americans the importance of our enduring partnership. We must continue to build on it -- economically, politically, strategically.
We have benefitted immensely from our ties to Britain. And they have benefitted from their ties to us. We are working together in ways that I think will benefit the children in this audience. The agreement on world trade concluded at the end of last year is perhaps the most concrete recent example of what we are trying to do for future generations.
In the months and years ahead, we'll have to continue to work on our issues of common concern. Not very long from now, we're going to have a jobs conference with Great Britain and other European powers in Detroit to discuss the difficulties that the United States and all the powers of Europe and Japan are all having creating new jobs in this difficult global environment; and what things we can learn from each other to create more opportunities for all of our people.
Well, now I'm going to introduce the Prime Minister and say, after he speaks, we're going to look around Pittsburgh. (Applause.)
When John Major's grandfather and father were here, this city was the heart of America's industrial might. Today it's the center of its high technology and economic innovation. It's a city of the future as well as a city with a past. (Applause.)
And so in the spirit of renewal that is the story of Pittsburgh today, I ask you to join me in reaffirming the bonds between the American and the British people in welcoming to the microphone the Prime Minister of Great Britain, John Major. (Applause.)
PRIME MINISTER MAJOR: Mr. President, Mr. Senator, Mr. Mayor, ladies and gentlemen, the President told you most of the story of how I came to be here this evening. Perfectly true, we were discussing the matter at the G-7 Summit in Tokyo late at night. We were relaxed. The conversation went pretty much as the President said. But I think the critical factor he didn't mention was that it was the second whiskey that did it. (Laughter.) And I'm jolly glad we had it, because I'm delighted to be here. (Laughter and applause.)
Come and have a look up here at a bit of Pittsburgh, said the President; come and see a bit of real America; and here I am. (Applause.)
It may be my first time here, but Pittsburgh way back from it's inceptions has had some pretty close connections
with the British. Indeed, its very name after one of our greatest prime ministers is the clearest possible illustration of the long-standing relationship between my nation and your nation. And then of course, as the President said, as the Senator said, there's this remarkable airport -- a pioneering retail operation managed by the British Airports Authority and a relationship that's worked extremely well.
The President mentioned some personal connections. I know those only by family repute -- the stories that have come down from my grandfather to my father to my brother and my sister and myself as small children many years ago -- stories of how my father remembers my grandfather being here working in the Carnegie Steel Plant way back in the 1860s and 1870s, and how my father spent a period of his youth here. Heaven alone knows where. He spoke of the place with great affection, but he didn't indicate precisely where it was.
And more recently in those connections between Pittsburgh and the United Kingdom, I'd like to express my thanks to the remarkable surgeons, doctors and nurses of the Pittsburgh Children's Hospital. (Applause.) Not all that long ago, they treated a sick, young English child in a way that no other hospital around the world could have done. And I have to say to you, when they did that, they caught the hearts of my nation and they haven't let go of it since. (Applause.)
So this seems to me a pretty fitting place for our discussions this evening, and then on our way back to the White House later on this evening. There is a lot to discuss; I won't reiterate the agenda that the President set out. There is a great deal of common interest that exists between our two countries, and a great deal that we'll wish to talk about that will affect our future, your future and the future of people in other countries around the world; a huge array of business and personal contacts that bind the British and American people together.
The President spoke of Bosnia. We're agreed on Bosnia that firm action is right; and we'll be looking to see how we can increase the pressure for the peace that every sensible person wishes to see in that war-torn and troubled land. (Applause.) And we'll be looking to see what we can do to try and play our part in ensuring that Russia is able to carry its reform program forward. A Russia that's a good neighbor to the United States and the West would be one of the finest things that this generation could hand down to the next, and something we all care passionately about achieving. And earlier today, we sent a joint message to South Africa, to Nelson Mandela and Chief Buthelezi -- are holding a crucial meeting tomorrow that may have great importance as the South Africans move towards their first multiracial elections. (Applause.)
And I think we might spend a bit of time talking as well about how to open up world trade even further and even faster because that's what going to improve your living standards, the living standards of my people back home and other people all around the world. (Applause.)
So, although I'm looking forward first to seeing just a bit of your great city, we've got a lot to discuss tonight and a lot to discuss tomorrow. And when we've finished it, I will be able to look forward to my next meeting with the President at Checkers and perhaps at Oxford, and certainly in the United Kingdom for the D-Day celebrations in the middle of the year. I can tell you that when he comes over to the United Kingdom, the President of the United States will be very welcome, indeed. I look forward to returning the hospitality that you're giving me this evening.
Thank you very much. (Applause.)
END5:58 P.M. EST