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Public Papers - 1991

Remarks and an Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With President Jacques Delors of the European Community Commission and President Jacques Santer of the European Council of Ministers


President Bush. You're not going to need these because this is a photo opportunity. [Laughter]

Q. Mr. President, do you support a safe haven for the Kurdish refugees?

Q. Haven't you, in effect, sir, created an enclave there by telling Iraq you will shoot down any planes that threaten the refugees?

President Bush. Photo opportunity.

I think our distinguished guests are going to have a press conference later on. I'll have a little something to say on this subject in a bit, too. But the main thing we want to do is welcome these European leaders here. The United States values its relationship with the EC -- and of course, on a bilateral basis we have a wonderful relationship with Prime Minister Santer and his country, and the same for Jacques Delors when he's wearing a French hat, which is very seldom these days. We've got a great, cooperative relationship with the EC and with individual countries in Europe, and that's what this meeting is about, to put the emphasis on the EC.

Iraqi Refugees

Q. Well, you are going to discuss the Kurdish refugees?

President Bush. Absolutely. We'll be discussing that and a wide array of other questions. And I'm very pleased with the enormous cooperative refugee program now underway. It is tremendous. The suffering there is enormous. And the United States is in lockstep with Europe in terms of our approach to helping these unfortunate people that are being victimized by this brutal dictator in Baghdad.

Note: President Bush spoke at 11:05 a.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to President Saddam Hussein of Iraq. President Santer was also Prime Minister of Luxembourg. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

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