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1991 - Mr Major’s Comments on the Gulf

Below is the text of Mr Major’s comments on the Gulf, made in an interview in Riyadh on Monday 7th January 1991.


QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked whether he would delay the deadline made to Iraq].

PRIME MINISTER:

No, I do not think that is a starter for a second. The deadline has been known for some months, it is five months now since Saddam Hussein marched into Kuwait, the deadline set by the United Nations has been known for a considerable period of time, if he is concerned about the deadline then the solution is in his own hands, he can start moving out of Kuwait tonight.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if there was no way the deadline could be changed].

PRIME MINISTER:

No, there is no question of shifting the deadline. We have known for some time that he may play games of this sort and try to edge the deadline forward, it is not something that we are prepared to contemplate.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if he felt Saddam Hussein was looking for a way out].

PRIME MINISTER:

We very much hope there is going to be a peaceful solution, that clearly is the first prize and it is very much what we wish to see. But that must be in his hands, he knows what he had to do, he can ensure it leads to a peaceful solution, I very much hope that it does.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if he had a view he would share on whether progress would be made].

PRIME MINISTER:

No, I cannot, I think we must wait and see, there are meetings yet to come later this week in Geneva and we must see what comes out of them.