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1994 - Mr Major’s Doorstep Interview in Brussels

Below is Mr Major’s doorstep interview in Brussels on 10th January 1994.


QUESTION:

Prime Minister, what was your reaction to President Clinton's speech yesterday?

PRIME MINISTER:

I thought it was an absolutely excellent speech yesterday in every way, I think it set out many of the objectives of NATO. For the past 40 years NATO has essentially been the rock upon which our security has been based, over the next couple of days I think we are going to reaffirm the role of NATO, up-date it and make sure our insurance policy is in good shape.

QUESTION:

Some read alarming federalism into it, support for Jacques Delors's ideas for a European super state?

PRIME MINISTER:

I saw that but I think they did not read the speech very carefully. If you read the speech you will see that what President Clinton was talking about was integration of all Europe, he was talking about the relationship between Western Europe and Eastern Europe, not the tightly knit integration within the European Union itself. Some interpreted it that way I know, but they were mistaken.

QUESTION:

Is this summit going to do more about ending the conflict in Bosnia?

PRIME MINISTER:

I am sure that is a matter that is going to be on our minds, particularly amongst those of us who have large numbers of troops there, I am sure it will come up during the summit and perhaps particularly over dinner this evening.

QUESTION:

Will there be a stronger line on Bosnia, there has been talk of possible bombing or new commitments?

PRIME MINISTER:

NATO has had a policy for some time that when the circumstances are appropriate, and we set that out some months ago, that we would go ahead with air strikes, that was the position and that remains the position today.

QUESTION:

What is Partnership for Peace?

PRIME MINISTER:

I think partnership for peace is part of an evolving development of NATO, there is clearly a desire amongst many of the central and East European nations to have a closer role with NATO, partnership for peace offers that on an evolutionary basis, it will be a very wide invitation extended to the central and East European nations, to Russia, to Ukraine, I very much hope they will take it up.