Mr. President, Mrs. Johnson, distinguished guests:
First of all, Mr. President, I wish to state my satisfaction of the fact you have recovered as spiritedly from your recent difficulty with your health. It is nice to see you in the state that I find you today.
Each generation thinks that the situation it faces is the most serious one, the most difficult among those which were faced by generations of the past. However this may be true today, I believe, when we say the task of this generation is burdensome, we mean it.
Because of the progress mankind has achieved and because of the difficulties that are at times part and parcel of progress and prosperity, we find ourselves at a crossroad where we might make the world safe for our future generations or we might all perish together.
The friendship between the United States and Ethiopia is one of long standing. Our association in the past many decades, I hope, has been fruitful for both our peoples. Because the United States and Ethiopia believe in the same fundamental and essential goals, it is necessary that we should put our efforts together so that we may make maximum contribution for the safety, happiness and prosperity of the generations to come.
In our discussions, Mr. President, I hope we will have the occasion of considering certain questions of mutual concern, of exchanging views in a frank and open manner, and arriving, I am confident, at a consensus of understanding.
I believe that these are not confined to our times and that leaders must from time to time come together, face each other, and discuss problems they share in common. It is not enough that we deal through diplomatic channels.
Mr. President I know of the hard work that you have in your country. I know of the immense responsibility you carry for the safety of mankind, for the maintenance of peace. I know also of your splendid effort in maintaining national peace and security. I am glad, under the circumstances, that you are able to consider my coming to the United States for the purpose of dealing with matters of mutual interest.
Ethiopia and Ethiopians are labouring today not only for the peace and prosperity of our people, but also, realizing the fundamental common interest which we share with other African people, we have dedicated Ourselves to building a united and a more prosperous Africa. We found that the interest that affects Africa affects also Ethiopia and vice versa, because our destiny with the African Continent is a common one.
We have to put up a common effort to see that the Continent’s interests are protected. As it is well known, the Organization of African Unity was established in Addis Ababa. I believe this organization has made a good beginning in the interest of all of the African people. I hope, Mr. President, during our private conversations I will have an opportunity of exchanging views with you about matters of mutual concern, as well as matters that relate to the Organization of African Unity.
Let me say, again, that I am glad to be in the United States today and I pray that our discussions will bear fruit.
Thank you. February 13, 1967