The President met with the Vatican Secretary of State Agostino Cardinal Casaroli for approximately 40 minutes in the Oval Office this morning.
Cardinal Casaroli came to the United States to receive the Prisoner of Conscience Award from the Appeal of Conscience Foundation in New York. Following his meeting with the President, the Cardinal went on to have a private meeting with the Vice President. Later this afternoon he will be having lunch with [United Nations] Secretary-General Perez de Cuellar in New York.
During the Oval Office meeting, the President and the Cardinal discussed the situation in the Gulf. The President expressed appreciation for the Vatican's support for U.N. sanctions against Iraq and reiterated our position that nothing short of complete implementation of the U.N. Security Council's resolutions is acceptable. Both leaders expressed the hope that a peaceful resolution to the current crisis could be found.