The text of Mr Major’s comments made regarding his visit to Kuwait on Tuesday 5th March 1991.
[Mr Major was asked why he was in Kuwait].
I want to see Kuwait, I want to see the city, I want to talk to the Ambassador, I want to see what damage has been done and what needs to be done to repair it. A war has just been fought over the freedom and liberation of Kuwait; it is now liberated; I think it is perfectly reasonable to wish to see what has been done.
But I suppose even more important than that is the opportunity to go and see the troops who played such a key part in the liberation and thank them for what they did, that I certainly want to do.
[Mr Major was asked if he knew when British troops would be able to come home].
I can’t be absolutely precise when they will be able to leave. They have to return all their equipment to a suitable depot, it is spread out over a very large area. There is a huge amount still to be done, but I would very much hope that we could begin moving the first of the troops home within about three weeks and insofar as it is possible – and that will have to be a decision made by the commanders in the field, not one I can make in London – I would like the troops who were in the front line to come home first.