342. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State1

58. Subject: GA—Middle East.

Dobrynin, at his request, called on Goldberg this morning and asked US to agree to a delay of 48 hours in the GA proceedings in order to allow time to work out some compromise between the defeated Yugoslav and LA draft resolutions.2 Goldberg expressed doubts that the gap could be bridged since GA had tried to do this unsuccessfully over a number of weeks. Reiterating our general desire to be cooperative Goldberg said that he would give careful consideration to Soviet request and that he needed to consult Washington before giving our reply by the end of the day. Dobrynin stressed that the reason [Page 611] for the request for delay was also because 48 hours were needed for consultation in Moscow to determine course of action which Soviets might pursue.

In view Goldberg’s expressed doubts that substantive gap could be bridged, conversation then focused on other ways to conclude the Assembly in circumstances where GA had taken some action. Two possibilities were discussed: (a) a possible initiative by the Secretary General, which would be taken note of by the GA, to “send a distinguished special representative to the area to make contact with those directly concerned about the situation”; and (b) a simple resolution which would transmit the GA proceedings to the Security Council which would give further consideration to this matter.

Dobrynin said he would report this to Moscow.

Regarding a possible UN emissary, Goldberg said we felt it should be a genuine neutral such as a Swiss.

Comment: Of interest is the fact that the Soviets sent Dobrynin rather than Fedorenko to see Goldberg. It is also the first time during the course of the special GA that we have had a specific indication from the USSR of a desire to try to work out something with us. We noted other Soviet reps in corridors this morning touching base with other dels and we assume they probably taking similar line re delay with them. We, of course, must continue to be on guard that this is just a Soviet ploy to try to recoup something from the diplomatic defeat they have suffered at GA and which will give some difficulty in the parliamentary situation. However, since it was direct bilateral request to us, and since specific need for guidance from Moscow was mentioned, it would seem to me we have no alternative but to go along with request for delay. Confirming Secy–Sisco telecon, we will agree at appropriate time to requested delay.

Following are the two possibilities which Goldberg and Dobrynin discussed:

The first is a possible statement by the Secretary-General which he would make and which would be taken note of by the GA.

“Having heard the debates on this question, and on the basis of broad consultations, I sense that it would be desirable and generally acceptable for the Secretary-General to send a distinguished special representative to the area to make contact with those directly concerned about the situation and report through the SYG to the SC.”

Second is possible GA resolution remanding matter to Security Council.

“The General Assembly,

“Taking note of the views expressed and the resolutions considered by the General Assembly at this extraordinary session, recommends: [Page 612]

  • “1. That the records of the proceedings be remitted to the Security Council for its further consideration of the matter;
  • “2. That the Security Council as a matter of urgency deal with the situation in the Middle East.”

Alternative 1 was a US draft. Alternative 2 was proposed by Goldberg but incorporates some suggestions made by Dobrynin, specifically, para referring to resolution before GA came from him. He also suggested addition of word “further”.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR/UN. Secret; Immediate; Limdis. Repeated Immediate to Moscow. Received at 1:55 p.m. Passed to the White House, DOD, CIA, USIA, NSA, COMAC, and CINCSTRIKE at 2:35 p.m. Rostow sent the text to the President at the LBJ Ranch in CAP 67668, noting, “Herewith the Russians ask for forty-eight hours to try to salvage something from their setback. We are going along because it can’t effectively be opposed.” (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Middle East Crisis, Vol. VII)
  2. Regarding the Yugoslav draft resolution, see footnote 2, Document 332 and footnote 3, Document 340. After Cuban and Albanian amendments (UN documents A/L.525 and A/L.524) to the draft resolution were defeated by overwhelming majorities, the Assembly voted on the unamended draft resolution. It received 53 votes in favor to 46 against (including the United States), with 20 abstentions, and was not adopted, having failed to receive a 2/3 majority. For the Latin American resolution, see footnote 4, Document 340. It received 57 votes in favor (including the United States) to 43 against, with 20 abstentions, and was not adopted, having failed to receive a 2/3 majority.