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Public Papers - 1991 - January

Remarks and an Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With Foreign Minister Hans Van den Broek of The Netherlands

1991-01-29

Q. Mr. President, could the third time be the charm here, sir? Could we ask you -- --

The President. What he doesn't understand is that I don't take questions at these photo opportunities. Of course, our guests -- --

The Foreign Minister. I've heard that before, Mr. President. [Laughter]

The President. -- -- although our guests are more than able to. This is a new animal that's been added to our repertoire since you've come back.

The Foreign Minister. That's a very interesting one.

Q. Your aides, sir, are taking bets on whether we'll ask a question, sir. [Laughter]

Q. Could you answer one of ours, please, and prove them wrong? [Laughter]

Q. Mr. President, what do you think about the Dutch support so far?

The President. You know, I feel very badly I didn't explain to your press corps that I don't take questions in the Oval Office. I can understand why she would ask. However, let me just tell you that one of the reasons I'm delighted to have this meeting is to be able to express to you and to Prime Minister Lubbers and others the appreciation on the American side for this outstanding cooperation. And I think we've worked very closely together. We've noted your statements with great approval and appreciation, I might say. And so, I look forward to hearing from you any further thoughts you have on the Gulf or any other subject. But I really am grateful to you.

And that was the main message in why I wanted to grab some of your time on this trip -- to tell you that. And I'm glad to have a chance to do it publicly.

The Foreign Minister. Thank you very much.

Note: The exchange began at 2:50 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. In his remarks, the President referred to Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers of The Netherlands.

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