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Exchange With Reporters on the Persian Gulf Conflict

January 17, 1991

Q. Mr. President, will you insist on an unconditional surrender by Saddam?

Q. Has it reached that point, sir, that surrender is the answer?

The President. I tried very hard last night to spell out our objectives, and I think it's very clear. And the United Nations spelled them out, and they remain the same. He can call it anything he wants, interpret any way he wants, but we are going to prevail. I don't want to get caught up in some semantics about all of this. He's got to get out of Kuwait. And he's got to do it with no concessions or no condition. That was determined long ago when he failed to comply with the U.N. resolutions. And now, in keeping with those, we are using force, and we're not going to stop until he fully complies with the resolutions.

So, let's not worry about what we call it. Let's worry about -- call it, if you want to make it clear, full compliance with the U.N. resolutions, full compliance with the objectives of the coalition forces.

Q. What do you think of his response so far?

The President. I think our people are doing very well.

Note: The exchange began at 3:13 p.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House. In his remarks, President Bush referred to President Saddam Hussein of Iraq. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.

George Bush, Exchange With Reporters on the Persian Gulf Conflict Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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