4. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union0

1174. For Ambassador. Please pass following Presidential message to Khrushchev and Brezhnev.

N. Khrushchev, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR

L. Brezhnev, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, The Kremlin, Moscow.

Please accept this expression of my appreciation for your kind message of congratulations1 on the occasion of my inauguration as President of the United States of America. I welcome your expression of hope for a fundamental improvement in relations between our two countries and in the world situation as a whole; it is a hope which we share. We are ready and anxious to cooperate with all who are prepared to join in genuine dedication to the assurance of a peaceful and a more fruitful life for all mankind. Speaking on behalf of the Government and people of the United States of America, as well as on my own behalf, I can assure you that the efforts of the United States Government will be directed toward this imperative goal.

Sincerely, John F. Kennedy.”

Message being released to press approximately 7:00 pm Washington time, January 21, 1961.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.11-KE/1-2161. Unclassified; Niact. Drafted by McSweeney and Veliotes (SOV) and cleared by Goodpaster, Kretzmann, and Rusk. Another copy of this message is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence. Also printed in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States:John F. Kennedy, 1961, p. 3, and American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1961, p. 560.
  2. Document 3.