Biography Chronology Home Search Speeches/Statements

1994 - Mr Major’s Joint Arrival Doorstep with President Clinton

Below is Mr Major’s joint arrival doorstep with President Clinton on Saturday 4th June 1994.


PRIME MINISTER:

Mr President, Mrs Clinton. I would like firstly to welcome you here to the United Kingdom and to thank you for being here to commemorate the extraordinary operation of 50 years ago. Whatever the weather may turn out to be over this weekend I can promise you and Hillary and our very many other visitors from America the warmest of greetings throughout your stay, as warm and as friendly as the welcome that your Servicemen received in the dark days of the war.

Just a few months ago I had the pleasure of being your guest at Pittsburgh, an area that has very strong links with my country. You fittingly this morning have landed in East Anglia, my home, and also a home to thousands of United States Servicemen for over half a century.

In a short while, at a service near Cambridge, we will honour the memory of American Servicemen who fell in the Second World War, their courage will never be forgotten in this country by those they helped to protect and helped to liberate.

Mr President, you arrive here this morning for your first official visit, but you arrive here as an old friend who has lived in Britain and who knows this country well. Over the next few days you and Hillary will see both the old and the new.

At Chequers later today we will have the opportunity to renew our close dialogue that has taken place from the moment that you took office. During that period a number of international problems have consistently been with us, Bosnia being a prime example. Our negotiators are even today working intensively with the United Nations and the Contact Group to try and promote a settlement there. Some of the problems we faced have been resolved. Last year's agreement in the world trade negotiations was an outstanding success and we are hoping to see it put in action as soon as possible. The remarkable progress in South Africa is another objective we have both strongly supported. But new problems inevitably arise and some of those we shall have the opportunity of discussing as well, North Korea this morning, for example, forces itself on the agenda.

In all of this we know from long experience the immense value of working in close partnership as the United States and the United Kingdom have always done.

Bill, this is a visit that we have been looking forward to for a very long time, you and Hillary are very welcome guests indeed and it is a very great pleasure to see you here.

PRESIDENT CLINTON:

Thank you very much, Mr Prime Minister, Hillary and I are delighted to be here. I remember well the first time I arrived in the United Kingdom, I am deeply honoured to be here today representing my nation.

Fifty years ago our two nations joined forces on the beaches of Normandy to turn back the Nazi army that had over-run Europe. This week I have come across the Atlantic to commemorate D-Day and the many other battles of the Second World War and to honour the sacrifices borne by the war generation in all the nations.

Freedom continues to require our sacrifice and persistence and I would like to say on behalf of all the American people how very sorry we are and how we offer our condolences to the loved ones of those who died in the tragic RAF helicopter accident on Thursday. Freedom continues to require effort.

When he visited the United States after World War II, Winston Churchill spoke of our two nations's role in forging the post-war world, he urged the United States and Britain to walk together in majesty and peace. For he said: "It is in the years of peace that wars are prevented and that those foundations are laid upon which the noble structures of the future can be built."

I look forward to working with the Prime Minister and the British people as we work together to meet those challenges. The Prime Minister has already mentioned the many things that we will be discussing today. I am glad to be back in Great Britain, glad to be honouring the sacrifices and the triumphs of the World War II generation, glad to be about the work of honouring what they have done for us by trying to preserve the peace in the future.