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1991 - Mr Major’s Joint Doorstep Interview with President Bush

Below is Mr Major's joint doorstep interview with President Bush, held in Rome on Thursday 7th November 1991.


QUESTION:

Do you expect any concrete [inaudible] European defence identity in the role of NATO?

PRESIDENT BUSH:

I think that will all be smooth, don’t you Prime Minister?

PRIME MINISTER:

Absolutely, we are all here to reinforce NATO.

QUESTION:

Can you really swear that the American [inaudible] role?

PRESIDENT BUSH:

We are going to have a sufficient force to take care of our obligation in our own national security interests and one of those fundamental national security interests is a vigorous participation in NATO, it is in the interests of the United States to do this as well as in the interests of the Alliance, so that is the way I would handle that one and I am just not going to leave here until every single member of NATO understands that, but I think they all do.

PRIME MINISTER:

I do not think that there is any doubt about it. Nowhere in Europe is there any wish to see any damage done to NATO and everywhere in Europe is there a total understanding that NATO has been a guarantor of our security for 40-odd years, that is how it has been, that is how it will stay.

QUESTION:

[Inaudible]

PRIME MINISTER:

No, the position in Europe is that the Europeans feel they have to take a greater share of the overall burden and we all agree with that, it is the overall burden within the NATO [inaudible].