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Remarks Prior to Discussions With President Fernando Collor de Mello of Brazil

June 18, 1991

Q. Are you in a talking mood today?

The President. Out of respect for our guest, the only talking I want to do in here is not to respond to questions but just to repeat what I said out there: how much respect I have for President Collor, how much I value our personal relationship, but even more important, how determined we are to work with Brazil for the common aims that we, both countries, have. And I'm just delighted you're here, sir.

Barbara and I are looking forward to the social end of it, and much more important to us is working with you to achieve the goals that you've set in a very difficult situation. But you're doing great, and we want to help.

Q. How much of an issue will weapons proliferation in the Gulf be, sir?

The President. You misunderstood what I said. I said I wasn't going to take any questions; I just wanted to give a speech. It's two entirely different things. But all issues will be discussed.

Q. If you make your statement, we should be allowed to ask questions.

The President. No, no, wait a minute.

Q. Can we speak in English?

The President. Yes, but I don't take questions in here. But I think out of fairness, let me just simply say what I said to the second wave of press, and that is how delighted I am to have my friend President Collor here in the Oval Office. And so, we've been looking forward to this visit on two planes: one, pure friendship and social side, which pales in comparison to the importance of working with this President to further our common aims, to see how the United States can be helpful to the broad reform agenda that he has courageously set. The problems are big, but we salute him for his tackling of those problems, and it's those things that I think are the most important for this visit.

Q. A policy meeting next year, Mr. Bush, in Brazil?

The President. I'm not taking any questions. It wouldn't be fair to the others; I said I wouldn't take questions here. We normally don't in the Oval Office, so I just can't, but there will be a chance to ask them later on, I think.

Note: President Bush spoke at 10:35 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

George Bush, Remarks Prior to Discussions With President Fernando Collor de Mello of Brazil Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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