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

1969. Dept pass to Cairo Priority.

Goldberg accompanied by Sisco and Pedersen had long session November 1 with FonMin Riad, accompanied by El Kony and Mohamed Riad. There were two principal questions discussed.

Resumption of UAR-US relations. Riad said UAR wants to normalize relations with US. There had been statements by Secretary and Goldberg that US wants better relations with UAR, but Riad had not seen any specific signs of this. He wanted to know when and how to get into specifics, and just how this can be achieved. In response, GoldbeRG reiterated June 19th statement in which President said US wants good relations with all states in area. Goldberg expressed disappointment that Nasser had not been as explicit as Hussein in making clear publicly that US has not been involved militarily in recent conflict. Goldberg said US prepared to talk about how and when better relations with US can be achieved and invited Riad to take initiative to request such discussion in Washington. Goldberg said we did not break off relations, and if Riad wished to discuss resumption this a bilateral matter which should be raised in Washington.
Second part of discussion related to peaceful settlement and what steps SC might take to this end. Riad, describing basic problem as one of Israeli aggression, asked whether US intended to take a clear stand re [Page 966] Israeli withdrawal. He had asked this question and had gotten no answer from US. He was under instructions to do something about this and improvement of relations, and he would have to go back to Cairo reporting failure. In discussing this second aspect, Riad reinterpreted what he had told GoldbeRG in one of our past conversations regarding UAR willingness to accept five principles contained in June 19th statement as basis for settlement and possible SC res. He said UAR could accept five points (he later pointed out impracticality of arms limitation point) provided territorial integrity principle meant withdrawal of all Israeli forces from UAR, Jordan and Syria to pre-June 5 position. Riad complained that we are giving economic and military support to Israel while its aggression continues, latest evidence being Skyhawks. As to our attitude on withdrawal, US has said to him we are against territorial gains. He said this is very vague and we do not know what exact stand of US is regarding withdrawal. He continued that he has been here 41 days and he is tired of merry-go-round of discussions. He said it is essential that we be clear as to what SC is trying to do, and critical question is whether US is for or against territorial gains. For its part, UAR’s prime objective is not SC res that gets 9 votes, it is not looking for political gains, it wants something practical done. UAR wants to talk about this in detail specifically. From all of discussions he does not know with whom he can do business. He said we need to talk about details of the solution as well as specifics of res.

Goldberg, after pointing out ways in which Egyptian press had been misinterpreting Goldberg/Riad discussions and telling Riad we are not revealing to press substance of our conversations, detailed our views regarding a settlement. He said we do not believe that forces should be stationed on UAR territory, that UAR territorial integrity and political independence should be respected, and that a stable and durable peace should be achieved. We are prepared to use our influence to this end and for a solution of the basic problems of area. Riad had raised question of what we meant by the context of peace, and we meant all of these things, including recognition of existence of Israel, renunciation of belligerency, and freedom of passage of international waterways as stated by President on June 19. He then read to Riad certain parts of June 19 statement relating to need for secure boundaries and asked Riad whether he agreed with this, to which Riad responded affirmatively.

Goldberg also spent a good deal of time reviewing our proposals designed to help bring under control arms race in area, and stressing need for an agreement among all of suppliers. He underscored we cannot do this unilaterally, that Soviets had poured back a substantial amount of arms into area. Goldberg said we attach importance to maintenance of balance of arms in area in light of fact it has not been possible to achieve an arms limitation agreement. Goldberg countered Riad’s [Page 967] contention that Skyhawks were a new dimension, since UAR was getting planes of comparable capacity from Soviets.

As to present activities in UN, Goldberg agreed with Riad that present efforts of non-perms have been extended and drawn out. Goldberg told Riad we are prepared to discuss with him specific language of a res which would not prejudice either side’s position. Our approach is to find an SC res which will assure that both sides will cooperate with UN rep on basis of mandate which would not prejudice either side’s position. As to withdrawal, we have made it clear that we favor withdrawal in context of peace. We believe an appropriate res can be drawn up which meets situation, and we are ready to talk about it specifically with UAR. Riad readily agreed to talk specifics and meeting concluded with the understanding that we would get together with them in the next day or so.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL UAR-US. Secret; Priority; Exdis.