Public Papers

Exchange With Reporters on the Soviet Peace Proposal for the Persian Gulf Conflict


Q. Mr. President, is the Soviet proposal acceptable to you?

The President. Let me just make one comment, and then I won't take any questions about it. But I do appreciate President Gorbachev's providing me a copy of his proposal -- of the Iraqi proposal, or his proposal to Iraq actually -- concerning the Gulf, the conflict there. And we provided last night comments to the Soviet Union.

Let me just reiterate. As far as I'm concerned, there are no negotiations. The goals have been set out. There will be no concessions -- not going to give. And so on his proposal, President Gorbachev asked that I keep the details of it confidential. And I'm going to do that. I will respect that request in the interest of thoroughly exploring the initiative.

But, very candidly -- and I've been frank with him on this while expressing appreciation for his sending it to us -- it falls well short of what would be required.

And I would leave it right there for now.

Q. Does that mean we're going to have a ground war?

The President. That means I'm going to leave it right there for now.

Note: The exchange began at 10:05 a.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House. President Bush referred to President Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union.