News


Tracking Number:  183147

Title:  "Hastened Peace, Freedom Wanted for Kurdish Refugees." President Bush has asserted that the US wants to work with the UN to hasten the day when Kurdish refugees can return home, free of fear, free to live in peace. (910509)

Translated Title:  "Bush et Perez Font le Point de la Sitation en Irak." (910509)
Author:  SULLIVAN, ALEXANDER M (USIA STAFF WRITER)
Date:  19910509

Text:
*POL408

05/09/91 HASTENED PEACE, FREEDOM WANTED FOR KURDISH REFUGEES (Bush praises U.N. peacekeeping activities) (620) By Alexander M. Sullivan USIA White House Correspondent

Washington -- The United States wants to work with the United Nations, President Bush asserted May 9, "to hasten the day" when Kurdish refugees "can return home, free from fear, free to live in peace."

Following a private discussion and working luncheon with U.N. Secretary General Perez de Cuellar, Bush praised the world organization and Perez de Cuellar's direction of its peacekeeping activities.

The president said "unprecedented responsibilities" have been placed on the U.N. secretariat by the aftermath of the Persian Gulf war, including administration of the special commission for eliminating Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, the compensation committee which will determine reparations payments, and the border demarcation between Iraq and Kuwait. They represent, Bush said, "a daunting task which will challenge the U.N. as never before."

The president said the United Nations is responding to another postwar challenge, the plight of millions of Kurds "who fled home and hearth to escape the brutality of one man -- Saddam Hussein."

Bush pointed out that the United States has provided "massive emergency relief" for the Kurds and other displaced persons and is working to provide conditions "to encourage these people to come down from the mountains" into temporary camps and "ultimately to their own villages and towns."

Providing those conditions may have been complicated by a new Iraqi rejection of U.N. ideas. Perez de Cuellar told reporters, during a photo session with Bush, that Baghdad had turned down the idea of a U.N. civilian police force to provide security for the Kurdish area of northern Iraq. The U.N. official said his envoy, Marrack Goulding, was given "a very clear rejection from the Iraqi government. They do not want a United Nations police presence in the area....They don't want the U.N."

Bush and Perez de Cuellar discussed that rejection, along with other Persian Gulf issues and U.N. peace-keeping efforts elsewhere in the world, according to John Bolton,

GE 2 POL408 assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs.

"They didn't reach any decision," Bolton said. "I think it's important to remember that Goulding is still there (in Baghdad) and that the secretary general's executive delegate, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, will be arriving over the weekend."

Bolton contended the issue is not specifically a police force but whether the world community "can provide conditions of safety inside Iraq so that the refugees and displaced have the confidence to return."

Bolton recalled that the initial U.S. hope was that the large number of international representatives providing humanitarian assistance would in themselves "be sufficient to give reasonable feelings of security to the Kurds." The U.N. has 100 civilian personnel inside Iraq.

Bolton insisted the idea of a U.N. civilian police force has not been dropped in the face of Iraqi rejection, but he asserted, "We're looking for the result" of safety for the Kurds, not specifically a "particular operational matter." He suggested Sadruddin's discussions with Iraqi officials, or the Iraqi government's negotiations with Kurdish leaders, might provide voluntary Iraqi safety guarantees.

"The president and the secretary general agreed," Bolton said, "that it was important to find a way to permit the United Nations to fulfill the humanitarian mandate of Resolution 688."

Bolton said the two leaders also discussed other U.N. efforts, such as its mediation in El Salvador, the possibility of a U.N.-conducted referendum in Western Sahara, and appointment of a human rights investigator on Cuba. There was also discussion of Secretary of State Baker's mission to the Middle East and of the situation in the Soviet Union. NNNN


File Identification:  05/09/91, PO-408; 05/09/91, AE-407; 05/09/91, EP-432; 05/09/91, EU-406; 05/09/91, NE-405; 05/10/91, AF-507; 05/10/91, AR-516
Product Name:  Wireless File
Product Code:  WF
Languages:  French
Keywords:  UNITED NATIONS-US RELATIONS; REFUGEE RELIEF; BUSH, GEORGE/Foreign Relations: Near East & South Asia; KURDS; IRAQ/Defense & Military
Thematic Codes:  1UN; 1NE; 6RE
Target Areas:  AF; EA; EU; NE; AR
PDQ Text Link:  183147; 183500