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1991 - Mr Major’s Joint Doorstep Interview with the Kuwaiti Ambassador

Below is Mr Major's joint doorstep interview with the Kuwaiti Ambassador in London on Wednesday 27th February 1991.


PRIME MINISTER:

I have had the opportunity over the last few minutes of speaking to the Kuwaiti Ambassador, we have been discussing the general situation. As you will know, I am delighted to confirm that Kuwait City is now entirely free, there are a large number of allied troops actually in Kuwait City and other operations this morning are going extremely well. British troops are now in the British Embassy in Kuwait City, they are cleaning it up and I hope very much that the British Ambassador will be able to return very speedily, perhaps as early as tomorrow. I think the Ambassador may wish to say a word or two.

KUWAITI AMBASSADOR:

This is a great moment for me to hear that Kuwait City has been liberated and the British Ambassador is going soon to Kuwait. Thank you very much, we have seen the flag today rising up on the soil of Kuwait. Thank you for your sympathy and cooperation.


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:

QUESTION:

Prime Minister, how much more fighting do you still feel has got to be done?

PRIME MINISTER:

I hope there will not be too much still to come but clearly there is some, it is still continuing in places. I hope very soon that the Iraqis will realise the impossibility of their position and that fighting will be able to cease. But that is not wholly in our hands, I think we do have to look to the security of our own troops and our own positions and that does mean that the initiative is going to have to come from the Iraqis. But military plans are proceeding very satisfactorily at the moment.

QUESTION:

How are we telling the Iraqis to surrender given their poor communications?

PRIME MINISTER:

I think the Iraqis know what the situation is in the field and I think the Iraqis in Baghdad are very clear about the present situation.

QUESTION:

[Inaudible]

PRIME MINISTER:

I think we had better conclude it first, we have never seen it in terms of victory or defeat, our purpose has been to ensure that Kuwait is free, to make sure that the legitimate government is back in Kuwait and that there is peace and security in the area. That has been our position all the way through, that is now in sight and I am very pleased about that.

QUESTION:

How far are you prepared to go particularly with those anxieties expressed internationally about your attitude towards Saddam Hussein himself and the possibility you might remove him?

PRIME MINISTER:

We have made our position perfectly clear and it has not changed throughout the whole conflict. We require the implementation of all the Security Council resolutions and the conflict can cease when it is clear that those Security Council resolutions will be met in full. That is and always has been the situation.

QUESTION:

How long do you expect to remain on Iraqi territory?

PRIME MINISTER:

We are not planning to occupy territory or dismember Iraq or any of those things, we have made that clear repeatedly, our aims are those we have set out. In due course events will return to normal, quite how speedily that will be one cannot be clear. There is still the fog of difficulties to determine, one does not know precisely what one is going to find. We are still seeing what difficulties exist actually in Kuwait City and elsewhere but we hope to bring the matter to a conclusion as speedily as possible.

QUESTION:

[Inaudible]

PRIME MINISTER:

I think it is a very welcome sign to have, do you not think so?

QUESTION:

Can we ask you, Ambassador, what your priorities are now for Kuwait?

KUWAITI AMBASSADOR:

To ensure the safety of the people who are living now in Kuwait, that is our priority now.

QUESTION:

Are we going to see moves towards a freer government in Kuwait?

KUWAITI AMBASSADOR:

Yes, for sure.