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

314. Re: Middle East.

Dobrynin (USSR) came to see me this morning to talk about status substantive text. Said USSR was prepared to vote for res we had worked [Page 705] out. On other hand some Arabs would probably vote against it and rest would abstain. He wondered in circumstances what our assessment would be of prospects and desirability of going ahead and what Israeli attitude was. I told him I thought Israel would probably also vote no.

Said I could not give him assessment of voting prospects without consultations with my staff and suggested we talk again at 2:30. I agreed with him that prospects of active opposition to reses by parties directly concerned raised questions which needed to be examined.

In course conversation we checked text of res as it had been circulated to Arabs and Sov bloc by Sovs. In process discovered that Sovs had introduced reference to June 5 date in Version I.2 I told Dobrynin this was not acceptable and that it had not been included in that version as given to him yesterday by US and as reported to Wash.

I told Dobrynin we had just received word from Indians that substantive res was “off” and that they wanted to talk again about procedural res. Dobrynin said Indians were not acting on their request but indicated Sovs still thought text of yesterday was satisfactory.

It was obvious from this conversation that Sovs wanted to disengage from substantive text and to revert to procedural ending of GA. About noon time Dobrynin telephoned back to say Gromyko would like to see me at 2:15 to talk about the procedural res.

When I called on Gromyko, latter opened conversation by saying they had discussed text with Arabs. Latter had referred to US rigidity. Some of them were definitely negative about res. Further Arab meeting was still going on and he had not heard final results, so Arab attitude was at least inconclusive. Arab attitude created more difficulties. He said there was of course the “Scandinavian” res,3 which he then produced.

I said that if there were no substantive conclusions of GA it would be my view that US and USSR should continue to put our heads together in SC and work cooperatively for peaceful conditions in area, recognizing difficulties involved.

Gromyko said he took note of what I had said. Sov position had been fully outlined, notably in Kosygin statement. USSR would see [Page 706] what position US would take in next stage “or stages”. Said reference of issue to SC was acceptable to USSR provided GA continued to be in session. Said USSR had nothing definite in mind at this point. It had nothing against referral to SC and besides there was no other place for it to go. Whenever any member requested SC meeting, of course, USSR would not be opposed. He noted Arabs did not like first para of Scandinavian res, which dealt with SC, but USSR did like it and agreed to text as it stood. Reiterated that there was no other place to go.

I said we agreed to text with one understanding. Previous version had included with respect to reconvening of GA by Pres that this should be done after appropriate consultations. We understood USSR had objected to that. We did not insist on these words but we did insist on consultations. These should be with perm members of SC, sponsors of reses which had been put before GA, and with the parties concerned. We also had no objection if he wanted to speak to heads of groups as well. These consultations were not a veto but were necessary as a minimum for timing, convenience and appropriateness. I told Gromyko I had said to Jakobson (Finland) that we would agree to removal of words if we were agreed in private on such consultations and if Pres would say he would convene GA after appropriate consultations. I noted that was process in SC and that it should be followed in GA, and that we had had difficult experiences during this session where Pres had done things without consultations. I observed that not being a member of a group we were sometimes not consulted by GA Pres and that unlike USSR, which was member of a group, US was only non-aligned member of UN. Gromyko smiled and asked when we had become non-aligned, last night?

Gromyko said recognized this as following normal processes and that USSR would neither encourage nor discourage GA Pres.

Gromyko then said he would make a brief statement after adoption of procedural res, which he agreed should go forward today. Said some of Arabs also might make statements.

In closing I alluded to his comment Arabs were still in session and said I would be willing to bet 100 to 1 that they would be opposed to substantive text. Gromyko asked where I found the one.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR/UN. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Also sent to the White House and repeated Priority to Moscow.
  2. Telegram 343 from USUN, July 26, transmitted the texts of the two versions of Soviet-U.S. compromise language in the form “in which we believe Sovs gave them to Arabs.” In Version I, Section 2.A. reads: “Without delay withdrawal by the parties to the conflict of their forces to the positions they occupied before June 5, 1967, in keeping with the inadmissibility of the conquest of territory by war”. In Version II, Section 2 reads: “Affirms the principle that conquest of territory by war is inadmissible under the U.N. Charter, and consequently that the withdrawal by the parties to the conflict of their forces to the positions they occupied before June 5, 1967, is expected”.
  3. For text of a draft resolution introduced on July 21 by Austria, Finland, and Sweden, and revised later that day, see UN documents A/L.529 and A/L.529/Rev. 1.