The President. We've just had a very successful meeting with the Amir. And we stand together in our resolve that Iraq comply fully with all the United Nations Security Council resolutions so that it can never again pose a threat to Kuwait and all the nations of the region.
In particular, the Amir and I strongly condemn Iraq's refusal to free the many Kuwaitis that are still held in Iraq. And we call again for their immediate and unconditional release. And we reaffirm our view that United Nations sanctions must remain in place against Iraq until a new leadership emerges in Baghdad, a leadership willing to live in peace with its neighbors and its own people.
We also reviewed Kuwait's great progress in reconstruction, physical and political, since liberation 7 months ago. And considerably more than half of the oil fires are out, and oil exports have resumed, and schools have reopened. And I applaud all that has been accomplished. And I was heartened to hear that elections for restoring parliamentary government are on track for October next year. And I fully endorse Kuwait's endeavors to expand political participation, and look forward to watching this process develop in the freest possible atmosphere.
So, all in all it was a good visit with a country to whom we feel very close. And Your Royal Highness, welcome, sir.
The Amir. Mr. President, I was standing with you right here last year, and now I'm standing with you at the same place. But what a difference between the two occasions. When you, Mr. President, expressed the conscience of your people, you positively demonstrated the nobility of your roots and the sincerity of your commitment. When you expressed the conscience of mankind, it was a testimony of your outstanding leadership and your Nation's superiority.
Such is the behavior and ethics of nations that have deep-rooted and civilized principles. The people of the United States of America and their leadership have vividly epitomized their principles during the period of aggression on my country. In an ominous moment, evil inclinations erupted, stirred up by false ambition and brutish greed and profound envy. The free world responded by denouncing and rejecting this aggression.
Your reaction to the rapid rhythm of events was combined with the voice of reason, principles, and values, which you, Mr. President, were determined to promote and emphasize. And therefore, your speeches and statements were directed to all peoples, reviving the confidence in them that the world is truly directed to all people in a search for new destination where security prevails, the weak safe, and humanity is primarily dedicated to the achievement of man's well-being.
The free world rallied around these values and diffused a fervent spirit to shield rights against violation, justice against grievance, and man against indignity. It was the greatest global demonstration in which honorable voices of the world's leaders were raised to defend rightness and human dignity.
The people of Kuwait will remain in debt to this noble human position and will always remember it with gratefulness and appreciation. Those who sacrificed their blessed lives and pure blood in the war to liberate Kuwait will remain models for heroism and for defending righteousness.
It pleases me on this occasion of our meeting to convey to you the feelings of the Kuwaiti people towards you and towards the people of the United States of America. It is the strong desire of the Kuwaitis to strengthen relations between our peoples and our two countries in such a manner so as to serve our mutual interests and achieve adherence to human values and benefit all mankind.
Finally, I wish to express to the American people, to your administration, and to you personally, Mr. President, the appreciation and gratitude of the people of Kuwait for the backing and the support you continue to extend to us.
Peace be upon all of you. Thank you.
Q. Mr. President, what have you learned from the U.N. inspectors about Iraq?
The President. Listen, I really have no time for questions. We have this education speech, and it's going live to many locations. So, I'll have to get back to you on that.
Q. What are you doing about the coup in Haiti, sir?
Note: The President spoke at 11:30 a.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.