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1992 - Mr Major’s Arrival Doorstep Interview in Montreal

Below is the text of Mr Major’s arrival doorstep interview in Montreal on Thursday 17th December 1992.


QUESTION:

Prime Minister, can you confirm that Britain would not use a veto in the Security Council against any No Fly Zone enforcement moves that were taken up?

PRIME MINISTER:

I will have the opportunity of discussing this over the next two days but I certainly do not expect that there would be a resolution that we would need to veto, I think that that is most unlikely.

QUESTION:

What form would the resolution take, do you think?

PRIME MINISTER:

That is still to be discussed and I hope to have the opportunity of discussing that over the weekend with President Bush.

QUESTION:

Are you certain yet how far you are prepared to go in committing any more military effort from Britain, whether it was to enforce the No Fly Zone or anything else?

PRIME MINISTER:

Those are matters that we will discuss over the weekend, there are a number of complex matters that need to be brought together, I will discuss them over the weekend, I may have more to say by the end of the weekend.

QUESTION:

Do you accept what Mrs Thatcher is saying today that the West should accept some blame for what has happened in Yugoslavia?

PRIME MINISTER:

I have not seen what Lady Thatcher has said about that and I have no comment to make about it until I have seen the text.

QUESTION:

Do you regard the Bosnian question as top of the agenda with President Bush?

PRIME MINISTER:

I think it must be top of many people's agenda, there are other matters to discuss with President Bush, of course, the GATT Round is still very important and we have other matters to discuss as well. But I do not think anyone can have any doubt about the importance of what has been happening in Bosnia, many of the actions there are appalling, there is no doubt about that, but we need to look and see what can be done to bring a settlement but we need to do that in the context of maintaining the humanitarian relief that is now going through, were that to be broken there would be very serious consequences this winter.

QUESTION:

Do you think some of the voices on the American side are too gung-ho and do you think the British and American positions can be reconciled?

PRIME MINISTER:

No I would not describe them in that fashion and I have no doubt that we will reach an accommodation before the Security Council resolution comes round, I have no doubt at all about that, I think there is a common acknowledgment of the problem and a common will to deal with it.

QUESTION:

To those who say something must be done, what do you say at this stage?

PRIME MINISTER:

We all want to do something and we are doing something and the question is what we can do that is most effective. We have to bear in mind that there are many people in very great difficulty in central Bosnia who actually need those humanitarian lines to be kept open, we have to bear in mind what nature of conflict this is and consider what actions we can most take that are most successful. I am not interested in gestures, I am interested in actions that will be successful, those are the matters we have to discuss.

QUESTION:

Could action be taken before Mr Clinton takes over in the White House?

PRIME MINISTER:

I cannot speculate upon that.

QUESTION:

Do you think you can make significant progress on GATT both in Ottawa later tonight and in Washington in unblocking the problems that are still facing the GATT negotiators?

PRIME MINISTER:

There are still some problems in Geneva and I think it is very important that we make progress, we will certainly discuss with the United States but of course we are now into multilateral negotiations in Geneva, it is not just a question of the Community and the United States, there are much wider interests as well.