235. Telegram From the Embassy in Egypt to the Department of State1

332. General Hakim Amer has just transmitted orally, through Gohar to me, fact that Egypt would welcome cessation present vicious circle along borders which becoming more and more serious. Egypt would be willing to live up to cease-fire if Israel also would agree abide by cease-fire in good faith. If date and time were set for cease-fire and no incidents initiated by Israel during 24-hour period after that date, Egypt on its part would guarantee that no incidents would be instigated by its forces.

Believe this proposal most important but am aware it can fail if (1) it is made dependent on Israeli admission for responsibility for commencement present series of incidents, which is implied as side light in part of message transmitted to me, or (2) it is interpreted in Israel as “peace offer” because Egypt weakening under Israeli pressure, as has been implied by recent Israeli broadcasts. To avoid these possibilities suggest Burns might approach both sides immediately along following lines: Immediate measures obviously required to restore tranquillity in border region. He, there, proposes, as agent of Security Council, and with reference final paragraph SC resolution March 30th each side order its military forces suspend any action against the other as from H hour on D day, and agree that if during subsequent 24-hour period there are no incidents, cease-fire will be considered to be formally in effect.

Have suggested immediate action by Burns in view of gravity of situation and apparent importance of this communication from Hakim Amer. If Burns should decide to act on this recommendation consideration should be given to strengthening his position by follow-up instructions and support to him from Secretary General.

Request Jerusalem contact Burns without delay this message.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 674.84A/8–2955. Secret;Niact. Received at 12:36 p.m. Also sent niact to Jerusalem. Repeated niact to Tel Aviv and priority to London and Paris.
  2. The Department informed Cole in Jerusalem that it supported Cairo’s suggestion that Burns should approach Egypt and Israel immediately and call for a cease-fire. (Telegram 30 to Jerusalem, August 29;ibid.)Cole reported on August 30 that Burns had sent messages to this effect to both parties. (Telegram 58 from Jerusalem, August 30;ibid.)Byroade reported from Cairo on the evening of August 30 that Fawzi had informed him “that orders had already been given to the troops to cause no incidents whatsoever after 6:00 p.m. this evening. (1600Z).” (Telegram 344 from Cairo;ibid.)