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National Archives

Public Papers - 1991

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on President Bush's Meeting With President Francesco Cossiga and Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti of Italy

1991-05-07

The President met with Italian President Cossiga and Prime Minister Andreotti for about 45 minutes in the Oval Office. The President and the two Italian leaders discussed the Middle East, European security issues, and Eastern Europe. On the Middle East, they discussed the need for continued urgent humanitarian relief for the Kurdish refugees and the need to provide security for their prompt and safe return to their villages. They underscored the important role of the United Nations in taking over and in facilitating the refugee situation.

President Cossiga and Prime Minister Andreotti stressed the strong importance they attach to the Atlantic alliance and the indispensable role of the United States in assuring European security. In their discussion of East European issues, the three leaders expressed concern over growing violence in Yugoslavia. They stressed the importance of respect for human rights and democracy but also affirmed their support for Yugoslavia's political and territorial integrity. They noted that during this volatile period it is important for all sides to practice restraint and to work for a peaceful outcome to disputes.

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