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1994 - Mr Major’s Comments on the US/UK Relationship

Below is the text of Mr Major’s comments on the relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, made during an interview given in Washington on Tuesday 1st March 1994.


QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked about the relationship between the US and the UK].

PRIME MINISTER:

There is a very close relationship, it is a very hard-edged relationship. It is based on shared instincts, it is based on shared interests. There is a tendency for Britain and America to see international problems in the same way. Occasionally there are different points of emphasis and they are highlighted but overwhelmingly we tend to see the same sort of problems and seek the same solutions for them.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if he felt President Clinton regretted his decision to give Gerry Adams a visa].

PRIME MINISTER:

I think he has given us very strong support for the Joint Declaration and I don't propose to traipse over old ground. What is important I think is the very strong support we have had from the United States for the Joint Declaration and for both the peace process and the talks process that we have established in Northern Ireland. Upon that, the President has been very resolute.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked whether the President would give another visa to Gerry Adams].

PRIME MINISTER:

I am not going into the details of that. I think people saw what happened when he came, they saw what happened when he went back. The President would like to see some progress under the Joint Declaration.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if he had asked the United States to send more troops to Bosnia].

PRIME MINISTER:

We looked at what happens in the short-term and that is of course why we turned particularly to the problems of Sarajevo and decided to send a team there to examine what is needed to correct the obvious deficiencies in life there; there is very little water, very little electricity, very little proper health care, not sufficient, and we are sending teams there. I think these must be dealt with on an incremental basis. The first thing to do is to deal with the civil problems in Sarajevo and we spent some time discussing that and deciding how to proceed.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked about Russian’s involvement in the Partnership for Peace].

PRIME MINISTER:

We very much want them to join Partnership for Peace, I discussed this with President Yeltsin. Clearly, Russia is a very large and very important country but Partnership for Peace will vary with individual countries so clearly there would be a special position for Russia, we very much want them to take part.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked how the relationship with the US would change given Britain’s integration within the European Union].

PRIME MINISTER:

I would replace the word "integration" with the word "influence". It is certainly true that it is helpful that we have a greater degree of influence in Europe. I believe we do have a greater degree of influence in Europe. What we are seeing is that so much of the European debate is now turning towards matters that we have regarded as important for some time. I think that is self-evidently so both in terms of social on-costs, the widening of the European Community and a number of other illustrations I could give.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked about the Scott Inquiry].

PRIME MINISTER:

I am not going to anticipate the Scott Inquiry's report. I set it up with very wide-ranging terms of reference, I told Lord Justice Scott if he found his terms of reference inadequate or found himself impeded he should say so and we would provide him with the assistance he needed. I think we must wait for his report. I have no judgements to make until then.