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Shamir Expresses Continued Support in Telephone Call to White House

January 9, 1991
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir telephoned President Bush on Monday to express his continued support for the U.S. initiative to force Iraq’s Saddam Hussein to leave Kuwait, the White House said Tuesday.

White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater indicated that Shamir also wanted to ensure that Bush maintains his position that there will be no link between the Persian Gulf crisis and the Israeli-Arab conflict.

“Both sides felt it useful to confirm to each other that we do not link these two issues and that we are on the same course,” Fitzwater said.

Both Bush and Secretary of States James Baker have made it clear that Baker will not discuss the Palestinian issue as a trading point when the secretary meets with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz in Geneva on Wednesday.

The Israeli afternoon newspaper Ma’ariv reported that Shamir expressed his readiness to renew the Middle East peace process once the Gulf situation was resolved.

Shamir also expressed to Bush his concern over Saddam Hussein’s latest threat to attack Israel if the United States uses force against Iraq, according to Ma’ariv.

Bush stressed again Tuesday that the United States has not yet decided to use force if Iraq does not leave Kuwait by the Jan. 15 U.N. Security Council deadline.

“Let me be clear about the upcoming deadline,” Bush said in a seven-minute television tape being sent around the world to “the community of nations united against Iraqi aggression.”

“January 15 is not a ‘date certain’ for the onset of armed conflict,” Bush asserted. “It is a deadline for Saddam Hussein to choose — to choose peace over war.”

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