TAIF, SAUDI ARABIA, JAN. 1 -- Vice President Quayle met with the emir of Kuwait and played volleyball with U.S. fighter pilots today as he completed a three-day tour of the Persian Gulf.
Quayle met with Emir Sheik Jabir Ahmed Sabah at the exiled government's headquarters in a Taif hotel to discuss the increased need for Kuwaiti financial support for Operation Desert Shield.
As he did with Saudi Arabia's Kind Fahd two days earlier, Quayle is said to have told Kuwaiti leaders that all nations involved in the struggle against Iraq will have to pay more as the gulf crisis lingers.
The emir agreed, according to a senior U.S. official traveling with Quayle who asked not to be identified, but the official said no figures were discussed.
One day earlier, King Fahd announced that he would postpone the traditional New Year's Day unveiling of the 1991 Saudi budget, saying the cost of the crisis and uncertainties in the oil market made revenues hard to predict.
Quayle came to the somber meetings from visits to U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf, including an air base where he played a kind of desert volleyball with pilots and others. He said he was in the region to reassure U.S. allies of America's commitment to oust Iraq from Kuwait and to pass on President Bush's thanks to the troops.
In a speech delivered four times in two days, Quayle said that while a peaceful solution to the crisis was still possible, the multinational military force was prepared to strike if necessary.
"Saddam Hussein miscalculated when he invaded Kuwait," Quayle said. "He is miscalculating now if he believes force is not a credible option. It is."
The vice president sounded skeptical about a European Community proposal to negotiate with Iraq on its own. "A lot of people have met with the Iraqis, many people have met with Saddam Hussein, and no one has changed his mind," he said.