January 3, 1986

President De la Madrid, distinguished guests, and citizens of Mexico, it is a special privilege for me to begin my new year with you. As one year becomes another, we're reminded of those meaningful items in our lives that remain constant even through the passage of time. I think we can all be grateful, on both sides of the border, for one thing that has remained constant over these many years: the good will between our peoples. Good relations have been part of our past; they are an important part of our present; and will most assuredly be part of our future.

The trust and cooperation between our two countries are mirrored in the solid personal and professional relationship President De la Madrid and I have developed. I have met with him on three occasions, and the telephone line between Mexico City and Washington, DC, has been kept busy with our calls.

I'm looking forward to our meeting today; we have much to discuss. The economies of our countries are already closely linked. As we prepare for a better future, we should explore new ways of improving the well-being of both our peoples by enhancing the business, trade, and financial ties that bind us. In our relationship, clearly, we help ourselves by helping each other. I also look forward to discussing with you, President De la Madrid, other areas of mutual concern and cooperation. The good and decent people of both our countries have made a strong commitment to fight the scourge of narcotics and drug trafficking. This battle continues. Issues of regional and global peace are of intense interest to us both, as is the expansion of democracy in this hemisphere. Cross-border environmental questions are important. As one would expect of close neighbors, we have much to talk about. As one would expect between friends, I am certain our exchange will be in the spirit of mutual respect and understanding.

Citizens of Mexico and the United States share a very human relationship. This was never clearer than when earthquakes savaged your country a few months ago. The heart of the American people went out to you. My wife, Nancy, returned home from visiting the devastation with stories of the quiet dignity and perseverance displayed by your people in the face of great personal tragedy. We are proud to be friends of such people.

Again, it is a pleasure to be here with you today. There is every reason to look to the future with optimism and confidence. I thank you all, and God bless you.

Note: President Reagan spoke at 10:36 a.m. at El Centro del Gobierno del Estado Plaza, where he was accorded a formal welcome.