417. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations 1

20152. Re: 18566,2 19238.3

British Ambassador Dean informed Assistant Secretary Sisco that London agreed with draft res discussed here, subject following comments:
British believed in para 3 word “ensure” definitely preferable to “guarantee” because it was “stronger” and carried meaning of obligation. Urged we try this out at appropriate time on Israelis and Soviets. Should it prove non-negotiable further consideration would be required.
London support based on assumption that resolution also permitted partial settlement approach at some stage in event this proved best way to proceed. This reflects UK continuing concern over Suez.
After indicating we would consider British comments Sisco said he wished recall several points. First, draft not fully cleared in USG and discussions continuing here at high level. Second, we still were awaiting response from Soviets as to how further discussions on Middle East should be pursued. Informal contacts in New York between USUN and Russians yesterday gave us impression Soviets awaiting results of Arab summit and not interested in any early UN move. Third, we had prepared draft res as tentative working paper in order be ready for another UN round, but we did not anticipate this was likely before some time in September; much stock-taking remained. Fourth, we were awaiting Israeli reaction which likely to take some time.
Ambassador Dean again noted British interest in finding way to get at Suez, which we took to mean that if it proved impossible to proceed on basis draft res British may seek to revive idea of separate move on Canal. Dean again reiterated hope some UN action take place at least some time before opening GA; it clear UK continues feel sooner the better.
Ambassador Dean said Foreign Secretary Brown extremely pleased with results US–UK consultations and fact we finding ways to cooperate even though there may be differences of view between us on certain aspects of policy. Sisco agreed to convey this message to Secretary.
In conversation August 11 with Israeli Minister Evron Sisco got impression Israelis likely to react very negatively to move along lines we have in mind. Evron agreed we probably will face SC initiative in September and anticipatory preparations necessary and desirable. However, Israelis feel time on their side and no early move should be made in SC. Furthermore, if we must move in SC starting point in Israeli view should be US res previously submitted and containing five principles rather than draft based on US–USSR agreed language because they fear erosion if starting point is this language. On basis Evron’s remarks Sisco believes Israelis likely suggest language changes to highlight objective of “agreed arrangements” and “direct negotiations,” as well as to insist on specific mention of “belligerency.”
Sisco asked Evron what he meant in his conversation other day with Battle that separate solution of Canal is possible on condition there no violation of rights of two parties stemming from cease-fire. Evron said he meant that provided the Canal was open to all vessels, including Israeli, and parties abided by arrangements made by Bull (which provide for neither side putting military ships on Canal), Israel would be willing consider separate arrangement regarding Suez. Sisco asked what would happen to Israeli troops? Evron said “Of course, they would remain right where they are along Canal, UAR troops would remain where they are, and Israel could not agree to disengagement or withdrawal of Israeli forces.” Sisco said such proposal likely to be a non-starter.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR/UN. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Sisco and Brown, cleared by David L. Gamon (NEA/ARN), and approved by Sisco. Repeated to London, Tel Aviv, and Moscow.
  2. Telegram 18566 to London, August 10 (ibid., POL 27 ARAB–ISR), states that Goldberg that day gave British representatives the text of the draft resolution attached to Document 415 on a restricted and exploratory basis as the tentative U.S. idea for a possible next round in the Security Council and as a way to get at the Suez problem. He stressed that it was only a working paper not yet cleared in the U.S. Government.
  3. See footnote 3, Document 415.