Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With Prime Minister Carlo Azeglio Ciampi of Italy
The President. Hi, Helen [Helen Thomas, United Press International].
Q. Hi. How are you? What do you think of Aideed's proposal, Mr. President, concerning Somalia and straightening out his position?
The President. Well, I think we have to— my main concern is not to allow Somalia to deteriorate to the condition which it was in before the United Nations went there. I look forward to talking with the Prime Minister about Somalia today.
Obviously, we would like it if some political initiative could be taken to stop the current violence, but we certainly can't afford to do anything that would permit the country, after all of the efforts the United Nations has made, to deteriorate to its former condition where hundreds of thousands of people are killed or starved at random. So we'll just see—we're discussing it. We're going to discuss it today, and we have it under active discussion here what we should do, and we're looking at our options.
Q. Have you resolved your differences between U.S. and Italy on the question of Somalia?
The President. Well, I hope we have, but we haven't had a chance to talk about it.
NOTE: The exchange began at 11:15 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.
William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With Prime Minister Carlo Azeglio Ciampi of Italy Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/217711