At the beginning of his five-nation European tour, United States President Richard Nixon had an audience with the Pope at the Vatican on Monday (28 September), and both men made short statements on the topic of world peace.
SV ZOOM to CU Pope addressing Nixon
SV Both men and Nixon begins reply at
THE POPE AND PRESIDENT NIXON INSIDE THE PALAZZO APOSTOLICO.
The Pope: "We'd like to convey to you, Mr President, our thoughts on the most suitable ways of seeking to re-establish peace where it was being upset, and to strengthen it where it exists, among other ways by favouring friendly and fruitful relations between peoples and the progress of the developing nations......as is demanded by justice and human solidarity. We would like to encourage you, Mr. President, in undertaking this task, which although difficult, is surely worthy of being pursued with decisiveness and generosity."
Nixon Replies: "Your Holiness, I would like to express my deep personal appreciation and the appreciation also of the members of our party and of all the American people, for the works you have just spoken, and for the very generous reception you have provided for us. Tonight after I leave the Vatican, I will be flying to sea, and there I shall see the mightiest military force which exists in the world on any ocean."
Initials CM/BOB/CO/21.19 C/M/BOB/CO/21.27
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Background: At the beginning of his five-nation European tour, United States President Richard Nixon had an audience with the Pope at the Vatican on Monday (28 September), and both men made short statements on the topic of world peace.
Unprecedented security measures were in force round the Vatican for the President's visit, including barriers across St. Peter's Square. A group of several hundred spectators watched from behind the police cordon about 500 yards (metres) from the Palazzo Apostolico.
A youth broke through a police cordon and threw a handful of anti-American leaflets at President Nixon as he passed in his car.
During the day, president Nixon also had talks with the Italian Prime Minister Signor Emilio Colombe, and the President Guiseppe Saragat. president Nixon also made a surprise visit to Rome airport earlier in the day to meet Americans who had flown in after being hijacked and held as hostages by Palestinian guerrillas. After his audience with the Pope, President Nixon flew by helicopter from St Peter's Square to the U.S. carrier Saratoga, with the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean.