Exchange With Reporters on Bosnia
Q. Mr. President, are you going to send air power to Bosnia?
The President. Let me say, I saw the stories this morning. The position of the United States has long been that if the United Nations troops were attacked there, we would do our part to protect it and by making available air power. We have not yet been asked to do that. If we are asked, that's something we'll give good consideration to. But we have not been asked to do it, and I—
Q. The French did not ask you?
The President. Not yet. But we've had some conversations with them. I'm very upset by the shelling of Sarajevo. And we're going to take a look at what the situation is and what the options are. But they have not formally asked yet.
Q. Does that mean the answer could be-a request is made that the answer will be yes, sir?
The President. It means just what I said. It means that the United States has always had the public position and the private position-we've made it very clear that if the United Nations operations in Bosnia were attacked, we would be prepared to defend them with air power. And we have not been asked yet. If we are asked, that's something we will seriously consider.
Q. You certainly are expecting it, aren't you? I mean, Bosnia has been attacked and they are on the—
The President. We'll just have to see. I am going to be reviewing it in the next couple of days. I asked the Secretary of State to come home to discuss the Middle East before he goes to the Middle East. So he will be here. We'll have a chance to discuss it, and as soon as we make a decision we'll let you know.
NOTE: The exchange began at 8:34 a.m. in the State Dining Room at The White House, prior to a meeting with freshman Democratic Members of Congress. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.
William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters on Bosnia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/220295