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Public Papers - 1991

Remarks Following Discussions With President Jacques Delors of the European Economic Community and President Jacques Santer of the European Council of Ministers

1991-04-11

President Bush. I was delighted to have the opportunity to meet with two friends, the EC Council President Jacques Santer and Commission President Jacques Delors. We gather at a time of extraordinary challenge and opportunity throughout the world. Our victory in the Gulf -- collective victory in the Gulf -- has proven that international cooperation can defeat aggression and lay the groundwork for new international cooperation.

As part of our mutual efforts to deepen U.S.-EC cooperation, we discussed a wide range of issues today. We talked about the situations in the Middle East, in Europe -- East and West -- and in the Soviet Union.

I'm happy to report that we see eye to eye on these issues and that the EC is prepared to take on growing responsibilities. For example, we're going to work together to support reform in Eastern Europe. They are vitally interested in that, have been doing a lot in that regard. We agreed to continue to encourage the people of Yugoslavia to work out their differences peacefully and through democratic dialog.

Presidents Santer and Delors and I reviewed the situation in the Soviet Union. We agreed to encourage constructive Soviet involvement in world affairs and to support constructive domestic reform within the U.S.S.R.

We also discussed, obviously, the Middle East. This administration values the excellent support we received from our European friends and allies in the Gulf crisis, and we continue to work with them on what we must do to help create a stable environment to promote peace and prosperity in that region.

Presidents Santer and Delors and I also reviewed the massive and urgent U.S. and European relief effort currently underway for the Iraqi refugees and displaced persons in Turkey, northern Iraq, and Iran. To ease the human suffering caused by Saddam's brutality and repression of his own people, the United States and the European Community are working to get urgently critical supplies of food and shelter and medicine to the refugees as quickly as possible. A number of European nations are cooperating with the United States in airlifting these supplies to Turkey and to concentrations of refugees in the largest relief effort mounted in modern military history.

We had a broad and useful discussion of our views of Europe after the Paris CSCE summit. Of particular interest to us are the EC's plans for greater political and economic union. And I reiterated our support for European integration and our shared interest in the development of a European security in the transatlantic alliance. We reaffirmed our mutual commitment to continuing transatlantic cooperation on issues involving our mutual security, foreign policy, on our economic interests.

And we also talked about our hopes for renewed progress on the Uruguay round. In a world increasingly defined and bound by economic interests, we all have an interest in free and fair trade. An open trading regime would permit each of us to build on our strengths and take advantage of the others' strengths. I reiterated my desire to gain renewal of Fast Track trade authority. And we all agreed to work for rapid progress on the Uruguay round.

From the standpoint of the United States of America, this has been a very constructive visit. And I might say parenthetically, and I hope the two Presidents here agree, that the relationship between the EC and the United States is strong and good.

Mr. President, welcome. All yours, sir.

President Santer. Ladies and gentlemen, first of all, I want to express my gratitude to President Bush for inviting the President of the European Commission, Mr. Jacques Delors, and myself, in my capacity as President of the European Council, to the White House for a mutual exchange of ideas.

It is the very first time that the President of the United States receives both the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission in the new context created by the Transatlantic Declaration of November 1990.

The talks we had together have been very fertile for both sides and they have taken place in an excellent atmosphere. I would particularly like to point out that both sides have submitted their concerns with considerable fairness and that all items raised have been discussed with utmost frankness.

In my capacity as acting President of the European Council, I am particularly pleased with the fact that the United States of America and the European Community have many points of convergence, especially in the regard of the reorganization of Europe after the political upheavals in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. This can only have positive repercussions on the restructuring of the European Continent.

It is evident that the date of this visit is opportune, favorable, and well-chosen. The Gulf war, which the United States of America and their partners in Europe have won in a perfect solidarity, is over now. At present, we are facing new challenges which are direct and immediate consequences of this conflict. First, the dramatic situation of the Kurd refugees in Turkey and Iraq. And second, the launching of the peace process in the Near and Middle East, a process that should bring durable and definitive peace in the whole region.

I'm fully convinced that through these talks, we have laid the foundation of an intensification of dialogs between the United States of America and the European Community and, hence also, of a closer cooperation including security.

Thank you very much.

President Bush. Thank you, Mr. President. Good to see you all.

Note: President Bush spoke at 1:29 p.m. at the South Portico of the White House. In his remarks, he referred to President Saddam Hussein of Iraq.

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