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1992 - Mr Major’s Pool Interview en route to Bosnia

Below is the text of Mr Major’s pool interview given to journalists en route to Bosnia on Tuesday 22nd December 1992.


INTERVIEWER:

Prime Minister, why are you making this trip?

PRIME MINISTER:

We have British troops deployed out there, quite large numbers of them, and deployed out there in very difficult circumstances. I want to go and see the circumstances in which they are working and thank them for the work they are doing.

INTERVIEWER:

How important is that work because there were questions raised at the outset of whether this was a major contribution, a lot of troops but was this vital work that they were doing?

PRIME MINISTER:

Oh it is vital, I do not think there is any doubt at all. The view of the United Nations and of everyone else is that the British troops there are now the absolute backbone of the humanitarian effort, they are doing a superb job in the most difficult circumstances and in the most difficult terrain, I think you will see that for yourself later today.

INTERVIEWER:

And will you be able to convince them that they are not at any greater risk as a result of plans to enforce a No Fly Zone over Bosnia?

PRIME MINISTER:

Their safety and their security is my first concern, I want to see that for myself today, if it is necessary to make any changes in policy then we will make changes in policy. The security of our troops is paramount, absolutely no doubt whatsoever about that. And I want to go there, I want to thank them for what they have been doing and I want to tell them what is happening diplomatically and what that may mean for them, they are our troops, they have a right to know it and I am looking forward to telling them face to face.