Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

Complete list of 8,000+ Thatcher statements & texts of many of them

1985 Jun 7 Fr
Margaret Thatcher

Joint Press Conference with US Secretary of State (George Shultz)

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: Outside No.10 Downing Street
Source: Thatcher Archive: COI transcript
Editorial comments: The US Secretary of State arrived at No.10 at 1845. Precise timing of Press Conference unknown.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 1003
Themes: Defence (arms control), Foreign policy (Middle East), Foreign policy (USA)

Q.

Can we ask you, has the Middle East been high on the agenda? Have you been discussing that this evening?

Shultz.

Yes we spent a good fraction of our time talking about the Middle East and the peace process, sharing information and I found it to be a very worthwhile exchange of information as the Prime Minister has recently met with several of the leading personalities there.

PM.

King Hussein came in earlier as you know. We had a long talk. It was particularly valuable because he had been to see Ronald Reaganthe President …   . talk to me and I was able again to talk to Mr. Shultz. Very valuable indeed.

Q.

May we ask both of you what you think now the next step forward in the peace process may be?

PM.

I think really that's already been understood, that it is to select some Palestinian people who together with King Hussein could in fact form a new kind of delegation.

Q.

Which the Israelis do not approve of that idea.

PM.

I hope that the Israelis would think fit to accept that idea.

Shultz.

I think the point is to move to direct negotiations between a Jordanian/Palestinian delegation and the Israelis and there need to be some in between steps to get there and I think that's what the Prime Minister was talking about.

PM.

We were talking about the in between steps. But I think there are many, many Israelis I would think, perhaps [end p1] most of them, who will accept and be very relieved that such negotiations, if the Jordanian/Palestinian negotiation and the Israelis were to begin. They have lived with the situation for a very long time and I think many of them would like it settled.

Q.

Prime Minister, how do you feel about the international conference that King Hussein has proposed?

PM.

Well, as you know, we're not very keen on an international conference because we think it might complicate things. And really the two sides have to get together with appropriate people. They will of course in doing that have the support of many countries, the United States most of all, ourselves and I would have thought most of the European Community.

Q.

Is there any progress from Hussein's visit—a question to both of you …

PM.

Any progress. I had very long and very fruitful talks with King Hussein about the problems we have been discussing.

Q.

Can I just press this issue of the Palestinians though. Do you think there is a way in which a Palestinian delegation which is acceptable to the Israelis can finally be put together? I mean Mr. Shamir was very frank with you I believe earlier on this week, Prime Minister. He certainly doesn't like the idea of the Palestinian National Council for example?

PM.

Yes, I do think there is a way in which Palestinians can come together and acceptable names, and that is what we are finding out. Yes I do, and I do think it helps to be optimistic about this. There will be such Palestinians who can in fact come together with King Hussein as responsible [end p2] people representing the Palestinian people to negotiate with the Israelis.

Shultz.

I think it is very important in thinking about the question you asked the Prime Minister, and I agree with her answer completely, to remember there is a big goal out there—peace—and if people get the idea that that's possible then they start doing things to make it happen that perhaps they wouldn't have done before.

PM.

They have been through terrible times you know in Lebanon and I think peace, a secure peace, must be a very attractive goal.

Q.

Did King Hussein send any messages through you to the United States that would advance the goal of an interim meeting perhaps between a Jordanian/Palestinian delegation and a US delegation?

PM.

Well look, King Hussein has recently seen Ronald Reaganthe President of the United States, he knew I was seeing Mr. Shultz, so we have got a very, very fruitful triangular relationship going.

Q.

Mr. Secretary, did it advance things for you?

Shultz.

Yes indeed, I learned quite a lot as I always do from any discussion with the Prime Minister but I think that there are things moving here.

Q.

Prime Minister, one question on another subject if I may. On the Salt Treaty, the continuing of interim procedures under the Salt Treaty. How do you feel about the US decision that is pending very shortly which is likely to try to keep the Treaty in force, but also try to take into account the Soviet violations that have occurred. How do you think the US should behave on this score? [end p3]

PM.

Well, you know our view. Our view is that the Salt II Treaty should be continued and I hope and believe that it will be continued.

Q.

Without any modifications?

PM.

You talk about technicalities, about technical modifications, I think the important thing is that the SALT II Treaty broadly should continue. That that is required as a measure of confidence between East and West and I hope and believe it will.

Q.

…   .

PM.

Not in detail because we have talked about those before but of course you cannot meet without discussing generally SDI.

Shultz.

Could I say how gracious the Prime Minister has been to receive me, how stimulating it is as always to have a chance to talk with her and express my appreciation to you for this fine discussion that we had.

PM.

You are very kind. He is always a very welcome visitor and I think you have had quite a lot of questions and I hope some helpful answers.