Remarks Following Discussions With Prime Minister Mario Soares in Lisbon, Portugal

May 9, 1985

It's a special pleasure to visit this green and beautiful country, and I am particularly delighted to have had an opportunity to review important international questions with my good friend, Mario Soares.

I fondly recall my previous meetings with him and remember so well his central role in bringing democracy to Portugal and in promoting freedom throughout the world.

This morning we had a friendly and very useful exchange of views with the Prime Minister, Vice Prime Minister Machete, and other members of the Portuguese Government. There was a feeling of sadness as well as we reflected on the sudden death of former Vice Prime Minister Professor Mota Pinto. He was a man dedicated to the ideals of individual freedom and political democracy, and he was a champion of the Atlantic alliance.

I agree with the Prime Minister that the state of Portuguese-American relations is excellent. I am pleased by the degree of mutual respect and the spirit of cooperation which exists between our two nations and which characterized our talks today.

Portugal is a steadfast and valued ally, and I came to Lisbon knowing that I would consult not only with partners but with friends. Our meetings gave us a valuable opportunity to review our bilateral relations, both in the security field and in the economic area. We reviewed the significant steps recently taken toward expanding our economic cooperation and strengthening the ties between our economies. And as the Prime Minister noted, we addressed a number of international issues of mutual concern.

Our discussions were characterized by a close similarity of viewpoints. I profited greatly from hearing the views and insights of the Portuguese Government. Our talks ranged broadly both over East-West matters and Third World questions. I would note in particular the attention given to southern Africa, which reflects Portugal's special knowledge and expertise in this region, and our ongoing close consultations on the problems of the area.

I also took the opportunity to applaud Portugal's pending entry into the European Community. We have long supported Portuguese entry, and as I told Prime Minister Soares, we view the recent accord both as a major step forward for Portugal and as a contribution to European unity.

And now, if you will permit me, following a little translation, we have an important date to keep just across the garden.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke to reporters at 11:50 a.m. at the Palace of Sao Bento. Earlier, the President and the Prime Minister met privately and then attended an expanded meeting with their senior aides at the Palace.