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Toast at a Dinner for Williamsburg Economic Summit Conference Participants at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center in Virginia

May 30, 1983

Well, it's a pleasure to see all of you and to tell you that our discussions over the last few days have been as fruitful and as useful and enjoyable as we had all hoped.

As I noted at the outset -- that our countries were linked by a multitude of mutual interests and by a shared commitment to freedom and democracy. Williamsburg, as a site, was the site of the first representative assembly and the second university in the colonies which then became the United States. It has been a particularly appropriate place in which to rededicate ourselves to these principles.

The preservation of the values we share must strengthen our domestic economies, seek advantages of vigorous international trade, and deal intelligently with the problems of crises in the developing world. And while doing this, we must also give appropriate attention to our security interests. These objectives are complex, sometimes seemingly contradictory and always difficult to achieve.

Our individual perceptions about particular issues may sometimes differ, but gatherings such as this give us an opportunity to work together on a regular basis to address the problems we share. This meeting has, in my judgment, achieved that objective. It has left me more confident than ever of the basic health of our free way of life and our ability and cooperation to lay a sound foundation for our children and our children's children.

In that spirit, I want to toast all of you, who in the last few days have participated in this chapter of a vital and unceasing effort. And so, therefore, I think we can drink to the causes that have brought us here, to the success that we've had, and to our dream of continuing on this road as far as we all can see.

And for some of us here, there is great gratitude to many of you for all that you have done to contribute to these meetings.

Note: The President spoke at 9:45 p.m. in a tent set up on the grounds of the folk art center. The President and Mrs. Reagan hosted the dinner for heads of delegations and guests.