Biography Chronology Home Search Speeches/Statements

1996 - Mr Major’s Joint Doorstep Interview with President Clinton

Below is the text of Mr Major’s joint doorstep interview with the US President, Bill Clinton, in Lyon on Thursday 27th June 1996.


QUESTION:

President Clinton, what do you do if you discover that there was a state sponsorship behind the Saudi Arabia incident?

PRESIDENT CLINTON:

I will take whatever action I believe is appropriate, based on that the facts are. But let us wait until we see what the facts are.

QUESTION:

Prime Minister, Mr Al-Masari has said that there was intellectually a very strong case for the bombers. What is your reaction to that?

PRIME MINISTER:

I have not seen the context of what he said, but I can see no case, intellectual of any other sort of case, for the sort of activity in Dhahran. It is indefensible by any tenet.

QUESTION:

Do you think there are measures which you can agree here jointly with the other leaders to combat both the sort of terrorism you saw in Dhahran and also that we saw in Manchester from the IRA last week?

PRESIDENT CLINTON:

I do.

PRIME MINISTER:

So do I.

QUESTION:

What are they?

PRIME MINISTER:

We have some ideas to discuss. We have some British ideas, I understand there are some American ideas, we will discuss them bilaterally I am sure and we will discuss them with our colleagues. But I think we will probably unveil them after the discussions.

QUESTION:

Mr President, do you want to talk about your ideas?

PRESIDENT CLINTON:

No, I was just going to say that we have already agreed on a number of things that we will do together to deal with the problems of international crime that specifically bear on terrorism. And we may come up now with some other things that we can do together. I think all of us understand that terrorism is a problem from which no-one can hide and on which we must all cooperate. You have had terrorism in the United Kingdom, we have had terrorism in the United States and this awful attack in Dhahran, they had the problem on the Tokyo subway. This is the security challenge of the 21st century I am afraid and we have to get at them.

QUESTION:

Prime Minister, are you concerned about the US idea to put sanctions on foreign companies that deal with Iran, and Libya and Cuba?

PRIME MINISTER:

I don’t think that is particularly a G7 subject. It is a matter I have no doubt will come up in discussion at some stage.