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Public Papers - 1989 - November

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the President's Meeting With British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

1989-11-24

President Bush and Prime Minister Thatcher met for approximately 4/2\ hours today at Camp David, discussing a broad range of issues related to East-West relations and European stability. They had frank and substantive discussions in the relaxed atmosphere of the camp.

President Bush summarized plans for the Malta meeting, and the two leaders discussed a number of possible subjects to be considered in that meeting. A primary focus was on Eastern Europe. The President and the Prime Minister discussed reforms underway in the Soviet Union and agreed on support for glasnost and perestroika. They both emphasized pursuit of democracy as a first step in the reform process. The two leaders agreed on the need for European stability as NATO faces the changes in Eastern Europe.

The Prime Minister spoke of her commitment to the common market and emphasized her vision of a free and open trading system in Europe. President Bush agreed with her view of a European future that avoids protectionism. The Prime Minister briefed President Bush on the recent Paris summit of European Community leaders, in which it was agreed that all countries should promote democracy as a part of the Eastern European reform process.

The two leaders discussed a number of regional issues, including the Middle East peace process, recent events in Lebanon, China, Cambodia, Central America, Afghanistan, and others.

The two leaders were in very close accord in their examination of all the issues discussed today. Attending today's meeting were General Brent Scowcroft, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs; Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger; U.S. Ambassador Catto; British Ambassador Acland; and Charles Powell, Private Secretary to Mrs. Thatcher. The Prime Minister departed Camp David at approximately 2:30 p.m.

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