Public Papers - 1991 - April
Statement on the United Nations Persian Gulf Cease-Fire Resolution
I am extremely pleased that the Security Council has voted in favor of Resolution 687. Fourteen times now the United Nations has demonstrated its determination to contribute significantly to the prospects for lasting peace and security in the Gulf region.
This latest resolution creates the basis for a formal cease-fire in the Gulf. It comes 8 months since Iraq invaded Kuwait. During these 8 months, the world community has stood up for what is right and just. It is now up to Iraq's Government to demonstrate that it is prepared to respect the will of the world community and communicate its formal acceptance of this resolution to the Security Council and the Secretary-General.
The resolution is unprecedented. It creates a force to monitor the legal border between Iraq and Kuwait; it also provides a U.N. guarantee of that border. Once this observer force arrives, all remaining U.S. ground forces will be withdrawn from Iraqi territory.
The resolution establishes a fund to compensate Kuwait and other claimants for the damage caused by Iraq's aggression. The resolution also includes provisions designed to ensure that Iraq cannot rebuild its military strength to threaten anew the peace of the region. Weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them are to be destroyed; this is to be confirmed by onsite inspection.
Certain sanctions will remain in force until such time as Iraq is led by a government that convinces the world of its intent both to live in peace with its neighbors and to devote its resources to the welfare of the Iraqi people. The resolution thus provides the necessary latitude for the international community to adjust its relations with Iraq depending upon Iraq's leadership and behavior.
I also want to condemn in the strongest terms continued attacks by Iraqi Government forces against defenseless Kurdish and other Iraqi civilians. This sort of behavior will continue to set Iraq apart from the community of civilized nations. I call upon Iraq's leaders to halt these attacks immediately and to allow international organizations to go to work inside Iraq to alleviate the suffering and to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches needy civilians. As a result of these cruel attacks, Turkey is now faced with a mounting refugee problem. The United States is prepared to extend economic help to Turkey through multilateral channels, and we call upon others to do likewise.