[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1995, Book II)]
[October 10, 1995]
[Pages 1565-1566]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks at a State Dinner for President Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico
October 10, 1995

    Ladies and gentlemen, I want to begin by again welcoming President 
and Mrs. Zedillo and the members of the Mexican delegation. To all of 
our distinguished guests, Hillary and I are

[[Page 1566]]

pleased to welcome you back to the White House.
    I have known President Zedillo less than a year now, but I feel as 
if I have known him for a very long time because of the remarkable 
similarities in our lives, some of which will surprise you, perhaps some 
of which will amuse you.
    Both of us were lucky enough to come from families where everyone 
worked hard. His mother was a nurse, and so was mine. We both had the 
chance to do graduate work in England and both continued our studies at 
Yale on scholarships. We both married up. [Laughter] Like her husband, 
Mrs. Zedillo is a trained economist, and a quite good one. And I thought 
I would be a pretty good lawyer until I met Hillary. [Laughter] Most 
important of all, and most unbelievably to me, we both went to Acapulco 
on our honeymoons. [Laughter] And we both went on our honeymoons not 
only with our wives but with our in-laws. [Laughter] Now, what that says 
about our judgment, character, and vision, I leave for you to determine. 
[Laughter] But Mr. President, we clearly have a lot in common.
    We are also privileged to lead two great nations whose histories and 
destinies are intertwined. Our strides are longer and our burdens are 
lighter because we advance together in partnership.
    President Zedillo, you took office at a time of great challenge for 
your country. You held up a vision of Mexico for the future, a Mexico 
united in democracy and in prosperity. You also knew that Mexico would 
have to change to succeed, and you called on the Mexican people to join 
in your campaign for progress.
    Only 3 short weeks later, financial crisis struck, and pessimists 
predicted collapse. But while those people were wringing their hands, 
Mr. President, you and I were ringing each other on the telephone. I 
knew that you were determined to lead Mexico forward, and we both knew 
that we were in the fight for the future together. The United States 
rallied the international community to Mexico's cause, and you, Mr. 
President, made the courageous and difficult choices that opened the 
door to recovery without closing the door to reform.
    Because of your faith in the people of Mexico, because of your love 
for your homeland, because of your willingness to lead by example, 
putting long-term good ahead of short-term gain, Mexico's economy is 
back on track, and its democracy is stronger than ever. And Mr. 
President, the United States is proud to be your partner.
    In your inaugural address, you offered the following challenge: Let 
it be said of us that we have dared have high aspirations and we knew 
how to make our dreams come true.
    With respect to your achievements, let us raise a glass to your 
dreams and honor the President and the people of Mexico, the ties that 
bind us and the friendship between us, and our common vision and destiny 
in the future.
    Viva Mexico.

Note: The President spoke at 8:25 p.m. in the State Dining Room at the 
White House.