As the Cold War continued, President Nixon became the first American President to visit socialist Romania. On August 2, 1969, he delivered an arrival speech in Bucharest on US-Romanian relations, and their shared goals of peace and security.
In President Nixon’s two-day stay in Romania, part of a larger world tour, he engaged in peace talks with President Ceausescu amid the Vietnam War and burgeoning influence of the USSR.
During President Nixon’s departure speech at the Otopeni Airport in Bucharest, Romania he stated,
It has been my privilege to visit over 60 countries in the world, and of all the countries I have visited, there has been none that has been more memorable than the visit to Romania. This is true not only because of the very substantive talks you, Mr. President, and I have had on issues–talks which I am convinced history will record will serve the cause of peace but it is true also because of the wonderfully heartwarming welcome we have received from the people of Romania every place we have gone.
Mr. President, I am convinced, after this visit, as I am sure you are, that regardless of the differences in policies, the peoples of the world are determined to be one and, Mr. President, from the bottom of my heart, as I leave your country, I want to say, in your own language as well as I can: Traiasca prietenia noastra. La revedere.
To the president’s departure, President Ceausescu responded:
Upon your return to your homeland, sir, I should like you to convey, on my own behalf, on behalf of the Romanian people, our friendly greeting to the people of America, our best wishes for prosperity and peace. And now allow me to bid you bon voyage.
Not unlike President Nixon’s landmark 1972 visit to China, his brief visit to Romania started a legacy that would be followed by subsequent Presidents Ford, Clinton and most recently, George W. Bush.