Mr Major’s Joint Doorstep Interview with President Bush- 7 November 1991

Below is Mr Major’s joint doorstep interview with President Bush, held in Rome on Thursday 7th November 1991.


QUESTION:
Do you expect any concrete [inaudible] European defence identity in the role of NATO?
PRESIDENT BUSH:
I think that will all be smooth, don’t you Prime Minister?
PRIME MINISTER:
Absolutely, we are all here to reinforce NATO.
QUESTION:
Can you really swear that the American [inaudible] role?
PRESIDENT BUSH:
We are going to have a sufficient force to take care of our obligation in our own national security interests and one of those fundamental national security interests is a vigorous participation in NATO, it is in the interests of the United States to do this as well as in the interests of the Alliance, so that is the way I would handle that one and I am just not going to leave here until every single member of NATO understands that, but I think they all do.
PRIME MINISTER:
I do not think that there is any doubt about it. Nowhere in Europe is there any wish to see any damage done to NATO and everywhere in Europe is there a total understanding that NATO has been a guarantor of our security for 40-odd years, that is how it has been, that is how it will stay.
QUESTION:
[Inaudible]
PRIME MINISTER:
No, the position in Europe is that the Europeans feel they have to take a greater share of the overall burden and we all agree with that, it is the overall burden within the NATO [inaudible].