President Reagan, had made a number of highly friendly declarations during the election campaign - including one proclaiming that Israel was not only a friend but a "force in the Middle East that actually is of benefit to us." Upon his inauguration, Premier Begin sent the following message to Mr. Reagan.
Dear Mr. President.
Please accept my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes on your assumption of the great office of President of the United States. On behalf of the government and the people of Israel, I wish you success in all your endeavours and undertakings for the welfare of your great people and country, and in the vital cause of the preservation of liberty.
We are grateful to you Mr. President, for the important statements you made concerning Israel and its role.
Your nation and ours are allied in a long-standing, deep-rooted friendship and a strong community of interests. We cherish the same ideals of democracy and freedom, the same high esteem for elementary human values.
Israel has proved its love of peace and liberty - not with words alone, but with deeds and with great sacrifices, striving always to preserve these essential values in our region and throughout the world. By its destiny and its historic mission, America is the leading friend of free nations everywhere that are ready to defend themselves and to resist totalitarian pressures.
It is in this conviction, Mr. President, that I look forward to close cooperation between our governments and nations.
May I again, on this great day for you, your family and the entire American people which has expressed its confidence in your leadership, wish you, from the bottom of my heart, that under your administration, your country may move with confidence and assurance, towards the full realization of the ideals that have made America great.
Yours respectfully and sincerely,