323. Editorial Note

During the June 25, 1967, meetings at Glassboro between President Johnson and Premier Kosygin, they discussed the Middle East briefly at a luncheon and more extensively in a private meeting that afternoon. During their luncheon conversation, Kosygin repeated his position that there could be no peaceful settlement in the Middle East unless Israeli forces were withdrawn from captured Arab territory. Johnson asked Kosygin whether he did not agree with the proposals he had made in his June 19 speech concerning the recognition of Israel’s right to exist, the right of free passage through international waterways like the Strait of Tiran and the Suez Canal, and the need to do something for the refugees of this and previous wars. Kosygin said that in his view, after troop withdrawal to the original armistice lines, all other questions could be resolved. Johnson repeated that it was not enough to say “remove the troops”; the Israelis had not followed U.S. advice to refrain from taking military action, and without some arrangements to assure Israel’s security, they would not follow U.S. advice to withdraw their troops. He noted that there were alarming reports of new arms shipments to the Arab countries since the cease-fire. So far the United States [Page 564] had refused requests to supply new weapons. The solution of the Middle East had to be found in something that would be acceptable to both sides. (Memorandum of conversation, June 25, 1:30–2:45 p.m.; Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Addendum, USSR, Glassboro Memoranda of Conversation)

The discussion in their private meeting after lunch followed along the same lines, with Kosygin arguing that Israeli withdrawal had to precede any other steps toward a settlement and Johnson maintaining that it was not realistic to expect withdrawal without dealing with other problems. Johnson took the position that the Security Council would be better able to deal with the many problems involved, while Kosygin urged a General Assembly resolution on withdrawal, to be followed by Security Council consideration of other questions. (Memorandum of conversation, June 25, 1:30–6:30 p.m.; ibid.) For the complete records of the meetings, see Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, volume XIV, Documents 217 ff.