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Public Papers - 1989 - August

Exchange With Reporters Following a National Drug Control Strategy Meeting in Kennebunkport, Maine


The President. Well, we had a -- this is nothing other than your basic photo-op. But we did have a very good discussion on the antinarcotics program. I'll have more to say on that next week. But I want to thank you guys for coming. Appreciate it.

Q. Mr. President, the Colombian Foreign Minister today asked for another million in emergency military aid to help fight the drug war down there, and says she's discussed it with U.S. officials. Do you have any response to that?

The President. No, but it's being worked out now -- the details. But we will cooperate with Colombia to the best of our ability. We support what the President of that country is trying to do. And every one of our Cabinet officers here -- all of us agree that this is an important step.

Q. Did you see President Barco's appeal to the users to stop their use?

The President. I fully agree with that, too, and so does our drug czar Bill Bennett [Director of National Drug Control Policy]. We were talking about that at lunch -- with great respect for what he had to say, as a matter of fact.

Q. Have you decided to increase the foreign aid package in your drug strategy plan to help combat this drug war now going on in Colombia?

The President. We'll have more to say on that at the appropriate time, which will be fairly soon. We're just not ready to comment on that.

Q. Have you figured out yet how you're going to pay for this?

The President. I'm not going to comment on that either.

Q. Mr. President, have the events in Colombia in the past week forced you to raise the military side of this?

The President. No.

Note: The exchange began at 1:13 p.m. at Walker's Point.

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