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Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session With Reporters Following a Luncheon With Chancellor Helmut Kohl in Ludwigshafen, Germany

November 18, 1990

The President. Another marvelous meal, I'll tell you that.

The Chancellor. Mr. President, Mrs. Bush, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to thank you once again very warmly for having met with me here in my home region. The weather doesn't correspond at all to the kind of mood we're in and to the overall feeling, but unfortunately, November in Germany means rain.

But the relationship between the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States of America is an excellent one; and this is due, first and foremost, to the personal involvement of President Bush. I've already said this in my short statement in front of Speyer Cathedral.

The 3d of October, 1990, the day of German unity, would not have been possible, would, indeed, have been inconceivable, without the help and support which we received from the Americans throughout the century; and we'll never forget this. Right now, over the next few years, over the next few decades, indeed, we, the united Germany, want to do our utmost in order to foster and deepen this relationship, particularly among young people. We want to promote the exchange of students, of high school students, and scientists, scholars, and this in the closest possible way. And obviously, Mr. President, I would be most pleased to see as many American companies as possible investing in the new states, the new Federal lander, which was formerly the German Democratic Republic, GDR.

I know that the President of the United States is a very busy man indeed. But if perhaps in one of your next speeches in front of the chamber of industry and commerce in the U.S. you were in a position to introduce a few remarks about the possibilities of investment in the eastern part of Germany, in what was formerly the GDR, I think that would be a very good and very beneficial thing.

Today we talked about a number of issues where we think we can help each other. We exchanged views, and we expressed agreement on the fact that we hope that the next GATT round, the Uruguay round, may be a successful one. We're going to work on that one also over the next few weeks. And we talked about the challenge to the international community in the Middle East, in Kuwait, and in Iraq.

We were in agreement here that it is very important, indeed, that the international community stand together here, stand fast in the coalition. And this on the basis of the U.N. resolutions, in the sense that we want to see respect for international law restored. And we were in agreement that it is of utmost importance to see a release of all hostages of all nationalities as soon as possible. And that this, indeed, was one of the most important prerequisites for any further talks.

We also said that it was our wish that negotiations would lead to a peaceful outcome of the situation there, but that these negotiations can only be successful if both sides want their success and if the consequences of this assault are removed.

Again, Mr. President, thank you very much for coming here. Thank you, Barbara, and with all my heart, let me wish you all the best and the best of success in your very difficult office. And may God bless you.

The President. Thank you, sir, and may we thank you and Mrs. Kohl for your hospitality. There's something very special about conducting the kind of discussions we had within the home of two friends, in a warm ambience, and in a setting that lends itself to frank and open discussions and agreement as the Chancellor's outlined. And again, we're very grateful to you for this extraordinary hospitality. Thank you all very much.

Persian Gulf Crisis

Q. Mr. President, in your prepared speech today, you said that a united Germany must take responsibility for leadership in the world. What would you like to see Germany do in the Persian Gulf crisis?

The President. I think exactly what the Chancellor says: keep the coalition together. In my view, they are fulfilling their roles. When I was talking about their leadership, clearly anybody that takes a look at the map and understands the realities of the world knows that this united Germany is, and will be, a tremendous force for peace and certainly for economic good in the world. So, I think we're together with Germany, both in the Gulf -- I made no special request of Chancellor Kohl at all. But I agree with him that this coalition is holding and should continue to hold, and thus, the best way to get a peaceful solution: send a solid signal to Saddam Hussein [President of Iraq] that his aggression will not be rewarded.

Q. Do you think you see eye to eye on the possibility of -- --

The President. I've read what he's said, and I think we're in very close accord here. We're not ruling out any options; we're not ruling any options in. I want to see a peaceful resolution to this question.

Q. The Chancellor, in a radio address today, warned of the consequences of military action in the Persian Gulf. Did he deliver a similar warning to you?

The President. He made very clear he'd like to see a peaceful resolution to this question, and so would I.

Note: The President spoke at 3:30 p.m. outside Chancellor Kohl's residence. Later in the afternoon, the President traveled to Paris, France. In the evening, he attended a dinner at the Palais de l'Elysee hosted by President Francois Mitterrand of France. Following the dinner, President Bush went to the home of the U.S. Ambassador, his residence during his stay in Paris. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

George Bush, Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session With Reporters Following a Luncheon With Chancellor Helmut Kohl in Ludwigshafen, Germany Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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