Speeches, etc.

Margaret Thatcher

Speech at lunch for Egyptian President (Anwar Sadat)

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: No.10 Downing Street
Source: Thatcher Archive (THCR 5/1/5/108): COI transcript
Editorial comments: 1315 onwards. President Sadat's reply is in the file, though not reproduced here.
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 418
Themes: Foreign policy (Middle East)

It really is a special delight and pleasure with which we welcome our Guest of Honour, Anwar SadatPresident and Mrs. Sadat to London today.

It has been a long time, Sir, since you came previously, that was in 1975, and we have missed you, and we hope it won't be quite so long before you and your distinguished delegation come again.

In the meantime you have received and entertained our Royal Family and many many of our Ministers. Try as we may Mr. President we cannot offer the same attractions with the Thames as you can offer with the Nile. But we continue to keep the balance for that is the way our Ministers will come to you, not really for the pleasures of the Nile but to see you and talk over great things with the leading statesmen in your country. You are on your way to Washington to see President Reagan for what could be another historic meeting. We are certain that that meeting will go extremely well because we too are great friends of President Reagan. We welcome you, Sir, here not only as a country which has great historic links with Britain. Not only as a country, a leader in the Arab world. Not only as a country with a great past and a great future. We welcome you above all as a country with a great President.

Well that fact, Mr. President, will be universally acclaimed throughout the whole of the Western world. If ever one wished to explain what leadership means one only has to do it by giving as an example what the President of Egypt has done in recent years. You, Mr. President, have struggled for peace. It has brought great benefits to your country. Peace is worth struggling for and we hope that you will continue to struggle for it and that your great struggles will meet with success. And we hope that in that struggle we in Europe can do everything which is in our power to do to help that process, along with our Allies, the United States. We congratulate you and hope that your efforts will bear fruit in the years that are to come, and may they bear fruit before too long. We are delighted that you have brought Madam Sadat with [end p1] you. We too give her a very, very warm welcome. And we wish you, Madam Sadat, and all our good and kind friends in Egypt a peaceful and prosperous future and continuing friendship with the peoples of the United Kingdom. Will you therefore rise to drink a toast with me to:

the continuing friendship and interest between the peoples of Egypt and the peoples of the United Kingdom—a mutual friendship.