George Bush photo

Informal Exchange With Reporters Following a Meeting With British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Paris

July 15, 1989

The President. This is what we call a modified photo-op in honor of our distinguished guest, who will be glad to take questions. But at the outset, let me just say that this visit we've had has gone very well, indeed; and I am so happy to have a good personal relationship that's existed for a long time with Britain's great Prime Minister. And I value her judgment; and this was, as far as I'm concerned, a very fruitful talk.

But the floor is yours. You are our guest.

The Prime Minister. We're very proud and pleased that the relationship continues, and we can talk very easily and very understandably about the great issues of the day. We have covered most of the spectrum of issues, as you'd expect, quickly -- the economic problems, including the debt. We also talked, obviously, about the Chinese problem because we have a special interest in Hong Kong. We talked about Middle East problems. We talked about Cyprus. We talked about some of the problems in Vietnam. Quite a lot to cover in about an hour.

Assistance for Poland and Hungary

Q. Do you think there will be joint action on Poland and Hungary?

The Prime Minister. Well, we had a long discussion last night at dinner over Poland and Hungary, and of course, we're all very anxious to help. And we're all helping, each in our own way. The President gave his excellent statement after he visited Poland and Hungary, and we have previously -- --

Q. So, it won't be a cooperative -- --

The Prime Minister. Well, we naturally cooperate. That's what the summit is all about. We would cooperate through the agencies. We thought the President had a marvelously successful visit to Poland and to Hungary. Then, of course, that's precisely what we'd expected, that it would be very successful, and it was.

Now I have to get to the summit before the President because that's the protocol. [Laughter] So, I'll just walk down to my car.

Hong Kong

Q. Are you afraid that Hong Kong will go back to the hands of the Chinese, when they're so oppressive?

The President. -- -- treated you very shabbily. I'm sorry -- --

Assistance for Poland and Hungary

Q. Mr. President, do you expect a concerted package or an action package on Poland or Hungary from the summit?

The President. We haven't been asking for that. That's not what the United States position has been.

Q. What do you want the summit to do or say?

The President. The summit -- you watch -- the summit will do exactly what it is I suggested yesterday it will do and what Margaret referred to today -- Prime Minister Thatcher referred to. And there seems to be a marvelous unanimity of opinion on how to treat with these Eastern European countries. And you heard her say, I think, that out here.

There's been some misconceptions that we would come in here with a dollar figure for a lot of aid programs. I managed to convey in Poland that that wasn't the case, and in fact, here it's not the case. But what is the case is you're going to see unanimity on the part of the summit leaders in wanting to assist Poland and Hungary. And the way we do it will be announced later on, but we're very happy with the discussion, very happy.


Q. Mr. President, how about the unanimity on China?

The President. Listen, I've got to go. Just stay tuned, and wait to see what the communique says on that.

Q. You're the one who left the impression of a concerted action.

The President. Did I?

Q. Yes, you did -- in several speeches.

The President. Well, wait until you -- I think you'll be happy when you see the communique, Helen [Helen Thomas, United Press International]. It will spell it -- it will vindicate me. It will vindicate me.

Note: The President spoke at 9:30 a.m. in the dining room at the U.S. Ambassador's residence. A tape was not available for verification of the contents of the exchange.

George Bush, Informal Exchange With Reporters Following a Meeting With British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Paris Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under





Simple Search of Our Archives