The text of Mr Major’s statement after meeting the Sultan of Oman on 9th January 1991.
May I just say that I had lengthy discussions last evening with His Majesty the Sultan both on the present difficulties that exist in the Gulf and, of course, in view of his particular remit from the Gulf Cooperation Council, on how security matters might fall out at a later stage. I took the opportunity in those discussions of saying how much we valued the very long and very close friendship between our two nations and I am delighted to say that the Sultan expressed precisely the same interests. I have no doubt at all after our discussions that those very close relationships will continue and it will be a matter of concern to both of us to ensure that they do.
In the discussions that we had, the Sultan was as resolute as he has been in the past on the subject of the resolution of the particular crisis in the Gulf though, like the rest of the Allies, he hopes that there will be a peaceful settlement and that the talks that are taking place in Geneva will be fruitful and that the Iraqis will withdraw, but I found a very considerable resolution here in Oman, as elsewhere, to defend the position that has been taken under the Security Council Resolutions and it was very encouraging to find that in all the meetings that I have had over the period of the last few days.
Insofar as the future security arrangements are concerned, we had some interesting preliminary discussions and I hope that those talks will continue at a later stage. There is clearly a great deal to be done though no decisions about any of these matters can be reached in any form at all until after the present crisis is resolved. At that stage, of course, His Majesty The Sultan has an obligation to report back to the Gulf Cooperation Council and he will be considering what report to make to them over the period of the next few weeks and months.
It was a very worthwhile visit to Oman – worthwhile but brief – and I very much look forward to the opportunity of coming back again at a future stage.