PRESIDENT CLINTON: President and Mrs. Zedillo, members of the Mexican government, citizens of Mexico, saludos, amigos. I am delighted to be in Mexico, rich with history, culture and beauty, and most of all, a great and good people who have given so much to the world.
In 1943, the Presidents of our countries exchanged visits in Monterey and Corpus Christi, launching a tradition of presidential meetings we carry forward today. President Roosevelt noted, in that dark night of war, that our people had found they had common aspirations and could work for a common objective. Today, a the dawn of a new century, in a very different time, we still have common aspirations, and we must work for a common objective, for the partnership between our two great nations has never been more important.
Powerful currents of commerce and culture pull us closer together. A growing convergence of values and vision gives our friendship new force. Mexico is opening democracy's doors, embarking on bold economic reform, decentralizing power, and giving new voice to its citizens, communities and regions.
The success of Mexico's endeavors matters to the United States of America. Our nations share far more than a common border; we share common challenges and common opportunities as we move toward a new century. We must meet the future together, respecting each other's uniqueness, but knowing that in today's world cooperation is the surest path to security, prosperity and peace.
We are reaping the benefits of more open trade and working toward wider communities of stable, free-market democracies throughout the Americas.
We want a 21st century where economic growth creates more and better jobs, where a good education and a clean environment are the birthright of every child, where we conquer our common enemies of drugs and crimes, where accountable governments provide the tools for people to make the most of their own lives. Our challenges are great, but so is our resolve.
President Zedillo, I thank you for taking some time last night to show me through the remarkable museum containing the ancient heritage of Mexico. Here in the heart of modern Mexico, the remnants of a remarkable ancient civilization rise up through the city's foundations. Your great writer, Carlos Fuentes, has written, "The greatness of Mexico is that its past is always alive." But, Mr. President, just as alive and just as great is the vitality of Mexico's present and the promise of its future.
I have seen it in the bold leadership you have exerted, in the vibrant debate going on in your country, in the strong efforts made by the ordinary citizens of Mexico. Mexico's promise for the future is seen in the hands of its working people, in the efforts of those working to deepen democracy, in the talent of its writers and artists, and most of all, in the faces of the children here today.
Mr. President, our histories and our destinies are forever joined. Let us reach across our common frontier to embrace our tomorrows together, to enter the 21st century as valued partners and trusted friends.
Again, thank you for making Hillary and me and our party feel so welcome. And thank you for the future we are building together. (Applause.)
9:37 A.M. (L)
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