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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Tracking Number:  165870

Title:  "Bush Insists Iraq Must Meet UN Deadline for Pullout." After his news conference, the President met with Ambassador Nathaniel Howell, who arrived in the US on a flight carrying the last Americans to be formally evacuated from Iraqi-occupied Kuwait. Corrected by NT-102. (901217)

Translated Title:  "L"Irak doit observer la date-limite fixee par l'ONU." (901217)
Date:  19901217


12/17/90 1Me Re BUSH INSISTS IRAQ MUST MEET U.N. DEADLINE FOR PULLOUT (But again voices hope for peaceful outcome) (780) By Dian McDonald USIA White House Correspondent

Washington -- President Bush said December 17 he "is still hopeful" that the Persian Gulf crisis will be resolved peacefully, but he warned that if Iraqi forces are not totally withdrawn from Kuwait by midnight January 15, United Nations Security Council resolutions "must be fulfilled."

At a White House news conference, Bush said the objective of proposed U.S. talks with Iraq would be to make clear the U.S. resolve to do its part in implementing the resolutions the council adopted after Iraq's August 2 invasion of Kuwait.

The purpose of the talks would not be to make concessions to Iraq, Bush said. "We've got an opportunity for a new world order, but that opportunity will be lost if an aggressor gets one single concession....It is the view of the coalition partners, and it's...important that the man (Iraqi President Saddam Hussein) understand that we are serious about this, Bush emphasized.

The president explained that many people who think they understand Saddam Hussein "don't feel that he believes that we are serious. They don't feel that he thinks we will use force....He thinks...that we cannot go forward to do our part in implementing the U.N. resolutions. And he's just as wrong as he can be."

Asked pointedly if the prospect for a breakout of hostilities in the Persian Gulf is closer now, the president replied: "I hope not. I certainly hope not."

Bush said that Iraq's refusal to give up Kuwait concerns him more than its rejection of U.S. terms for talks on the crisis. He said his own views on the talks had not changed, but he expressed the hope they "will take place."

On December 14, the president announced that he was putting "on hold" a visit to Washington by Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz until Iraq agreed to receive Secretary of State Baker in Baghdad no later than January 3. Iraq responded December 15 that its foreign minister would not fly to Washington December 17 as tentatively planned and that "Iraq alone" will set a date for the Baker visit.

GE 2 POL106

In a statement issued after a joint meeting of the ruling Revolution Command Council and Bath Party December 17, the Iraqi leadership rejected what it called a one-sided dictation of dates for a meeting with the United States and insisted it would never give up occupied Kuwait.

Asked about the Iraqi statements and his position on the talks, Bush recalled that he had "spelled out my position as clearly as I possibly can," and said "I hope these talks will take place." But he added that the Baghdad statements about the talks "concern me far less than the statements I see that there is no flexibility on Saddam Hussein's part about what he calls Province 19, which flies directly in the face of the United Nations actions. That's the substance of all this. And that's what concerns me."

Asked if there is flexibility in his insistence on getting the talks going by January 3, Bush replied, "I think people understand that when you give a person 15 dates, a man who's been meeting on 20-minutes notice with a wide group of leaders from all over the world and characters from all over the world, that we've been very flexible on this. And so I just would leave it calmly where it sits right now, without speculating on what I might or might not do."

Nonetheless, he stressed, the U.N. resolutions "are clear. He must be out of Kuwait -- that means entirely -- by January 15th. It's very clear to the world that that's what the objective is. So if you try to keep -- for reasons of his own -- moving down towards that deadline, it just seems obvious to the world what he's doing."

Bush met later in the morning with U.S. Ambassador Nathaniel Howell, who arrived in the United States December 14 on a flight carrying the last Americans to be formally evacuated from Iraqi-occupied Kuwait.

Asked about the prospects for peace, Howell said, "We're going to talk about that. I had a very little view of this problem from where I sat, as you might imagine. About five acres of it."

To the suggestion that the Iraqis were digging in, Howell said, "They were winterizing their bunkers around the embassy." When a reporter noted that this did not "bode well for us," Bush remarked, "It doesn't bode well for Saddam Hussein." NNNN

File Identification:  12/17/90, PO-106; 12/17/90, AE-108; 12/17/90, AS-145; 12/17/90, AR-140; 12/17/90, EP-108; 12/17/90, EU-104; 12/17/90, NE-116; 12/17/90, NA-102; 12/17/90, NT-102; 12/18/90, AF-207
Product Name:  Wireless File
Product Code:  WF
Languages:  Arabic; Spanish; French
Thematic Codes:  1NE; 1UN
Target Areas:  AF; AR; EA; EU; NE
PDQ Text Link:  165870; 165884; 165873; 166064

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