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Public Papers - 1990 - August

Remarks and an Exchange With Reporters Following a Meeting With Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of the United Kingdom and Secretary General Manfred Woerner of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

1990-08-06

The President. We better get Manfred Woerner. But listen, it's raining out here. This was basically a chance to have a photo to show that we were having these very important consultations. I might say that we are very encouraged, all of us, by the action taken in the United Nations -- a strong resolution up there that shows, I think, that the world is united against the kind of aggression that we've witnessed.

But I'd like to ask our guest, the Prime Minister, to say a word, and then the Secretary General, who's just arrived. We were going to do this differently, but now we're out here. Go ahead, please, Margaret.

The Prime Minister. May I support the President of the United States in saying that the news from the United Nations and the strength of the vote -- 13 votes in favor of mandatory, comprehensive sanctions and no votes against -- is very good. That means that it becomes law in all the countries of the world. That is extremely good. It also follows the strong support that has been given by the European countries in their condemnation of the action of Saddam Hussein in invading Kuwait. Japan also condemned strongly, and so did the Soviet Union. So, really, the world is condemning the action, and the United Nations resolution will become mandatory and mean that those sanctions must be enforceable.

I cannot remember a time when we had the world so strongly together against an action as now, and I hope that those sanctions will be properly and effectively enforced as a positive action against what we all totally and utterly condemn.

The President. Manfred, are you prepared to say a word?

The Secretary General. I just arrived. Just a few thoughts which we have exchanged. My impression is that this is the moment for the West to show cohesion, determination and to make it clear what cannot be accepted in this world and to safeguard its own security interests.

The President. Thank you all.

Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait

Q. Mr. President, have you received any assurances from Saddam Hussein that he won't invade Saudi Arabia?

Q. Mr. President, did you hear from Saddam today?

The President. I have had no such assurances directly to me.

And what was the last question? We really have to get in. You all are getting -- --

Q. Did you get a message, a personal message, from Saddam?

The President. No, I have not had a personal -- --

Q. Do you hope that, in light of these sanctions, that you can forgo a blockade?

The President. These sanctions -- we need to discuss full and total implementation of these sanctions, ruling out nothing at all. These sanctions must be enforced. I think the will of the nations around the world -- not just the NATO countries, not just the EC, not just one area or another -- the will of the nations around the world will be to enforce these sanctions. So, we'll leave the details of how we implement it to the future. But we'll begin working on that immediately, working -- one of the consultations that's going on right now in the Oval Office is just exactly how we go about encouraging others to do that and what we ourselves should be doing.

Q. Mr. President, the oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia -- --

Q. Well, what did Saddam tell the U.S. Counselor -- Charge?

The President. These things will be enforced, whatever it takes.

Note: The President spoke at 3:57 p.m. in the Colonnade at the White House. Saddam Hussein was President of Iraq.

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