[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[May 6, 1998]
[Page 699]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

[[Page 699]]

Remarks at the Welcoming Ceremony for Prime Minister Romano Prodi of Italy
May 6, 1998

    Prime Minister, Mrs. Prodi, members of the 
Italian delegation, welcome to the White House and welcome to the United 
States. Hillary and I are delighted to see you again, and I look forward 
to our talks today which will deepen our relationship. But first let me 
say, I was terribly saddened to hear of the torrential rains and 
mudslides in southern Italy which have resulted in the loss of Italian 
lives. United States forces from Aviano are now transporting Italian 
civilians to the scene to assist in rescue efforts.
    The history of our partnership is long and special. Every 
schoolchild knows that Columbus crossed the Atlantic in 1492, soon to be 
followed by other great Italian explorers, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot, 
Giovanni da Verrazano. That was only the beginning of a relationship 
that has now flourished for centuries, bringing us together in new ways 
generation after generation.
    Today, Italians once again are expanding the world's horizons. Italy 
stands at the forefront of a new Europe, leading efforts to promote 
peace and unity throughout the Continent, from economic and monetary 
union to military cooperation.
    In recent months, Italy has led efforts to restore civil order in 
Albania and is seeking to avert a deepening conflict in Kosovo. Italian 
and American troops patrol alongside one another in Bosnia, and we will 
continue to work together to build stability throughout southeastern 
Europe and the Mediterranean. And finally let me say, we are deeply 
grateful for Italy's hospitality toward United States forces working to 
preserve peace in Europe.
    Mr. Prime Minister, under your leadership Italy is building a better 
future. Enterprise is thriving; the rule of law prevails. Today's dreams 
are being shaped into tomorrow's reality.
    Together we are exploring outer space, fighting crime and terrorism, 
restricting the spread of dangerous weapons, and creating a climate 
where goods and ideas can be freely exchanged between our countries and 
around the world. Truly, Italy is setting an example for the new Europe.
    This week in Washington and next week at summits in Europe, we will 
forge even stronger bonds of cooperation to equip our people to succeed 
in the global economy, to combat international crime and other threats 
to the security of our citizens, to nurture the health of our planet. 
The year from now, we look forward to meeting here again when the NATO 
alliance celebrates its 50th anniversary and acts to make the alliance 
stronger for the next 50 years.
    The great seal of the United States contains the words novus ordo 
seclorum, a new order of the ages. Those words were written by Vergil in 
Italy more than 2,000 years ago. But they have fresh meaning today, as a 
new generation builds a new order of peace and freedom, prosperity and 
security for the 21st century. Vergil's words apply to your deeds, Mr. 
Prime Minister, and we are very glad to welcome you to the United States 
of America.

Note: The President spoke at 10:07 a.m. on the South Lawn at the White 
House, where Prime Minister Prodi was accorded a formal welcome with 
full military honors. In his remarks, the President referred to the 
Prime Minister's wife, Flavia Prodi. The transcript made available by 
the Office of the Press Secretary also included the remarks of Prime 
Minister Prodi.