May 6, 1981

The President. Well, thank you all for coming here. Sorry that we delayed you for a few minutes, and let me explain -- we won't have time to take any questions because we're due in to a major briefing meeting now. But I wanted to welcome the Secretary of State back from his trip to the meeting in Rome, NATO, and to be able to tell you -- having had about a half-hour's briefing this morning, and we'll go in now for a much more thorough briefing -- he comes home in triumph from a most successful meeting, in a situation that could have been critical for us with regard to our allies and their reactions, and it is a triumphal return.

I think that we have a better relationship with our NATO allies now and resolved many points of difference that might have existed there and erased their worries about out relationship with the Soviet Union.

The Secretary of State. By and large, Mr. President, all I would add to that is that this meeting, which the Secretary General describes as perhaps the most important that has occurred in recent years, served to underline the most important object of American foreign policy, and that's solidarity within the Alliance and especially the transatlantic aspects of it. And secondly, this meeting enabled me to present President Reagan's foreign policy to the North Atlantic Council, and it received unanimous, enthusiastic endorsement by all of the member states. And I think that's a major achievement of which we're all very proud.

Note: The President spoke at 11:54 a.m. to reporters assembled outside the Oval Office at the White House.