266. Memorandum of Conversation1
- Views of the United States Government Regarding the Communication Presented by the Government of the USSR
- The Under Secretary
- His Excellency Anatoliy Dobrynin, Ambassador of the USSR
- Lucius D. Battle, Assistant Secretary, NEA
The Soviet Ambassador called on Mr. Katzenbach, at the latter’s request, at his residence on Sunday, September 29, at approximately 8:15 p.m.[Page 523]
Mr. Katzenbach handed to the Soviet Ambassador the attached paper which the Under Secretary described as the views of the United States with respect to the recent communication presented by the Government of the USSR to the United States.2 Mr. Katzenbach emphasized that the paper contained the views of the United States and did not represent the views of the Government of Israel or any other country in the area. Mr. Katzenbach pointed out that Ambassador Jarring has worked long and hard and that he has a chance in the weeks ahead with the Foreign Ministers present to make progress under the resolution of November 22, 1967. The United States expects to exercise all influence possible on the situation and hopes to get substantive discussions underway in what will be an important period. It is particularly important, Mr. Katzenbach emphasized, for all pressure possible to be placed upon the countries concerned and in particular the UAR, Jordan, and Israel. The longer there is no move toward peace, the greater the difficulty, and the United States hopes very much that progress will be possible during the New York meeting.
The Soviet Ambassador asked what the main point was of the communication. Is it merely to assist Ambassador Jarring?
The Under Secretary replied that this was the main point and that the United States was making every effort to support him in his efforts.
The Ambassador asked what was new in the paper. The USSR considers that there must be concrete proposals if there is to be progress.
Mr. Katzenbach replied that we considered proposals for a solution should be advanced by Jarring in an effort to promote agreement of the parties. One of the most difficult points would be to arrive at a definition, for example, of agreed and secure boundaries.
Ambassador Dobrynin said that the Soviet Union agrees that adjustments in these lines are the business of the parties and not the business of the Soviet Union. However, he felt that it was necessary to make concrete proposals and that the Soviet Union, while wishing to help Jarring, considered that its more detailed suggestions had been a move in that direction. The USSR did not wish to press its paper. If the United States does not like the Russian proposal, the Russians would welcome steps by the United States to offer its own plan. France has a practical approach, and other countries must be equally practical.
Mr. Katzenbach replied that the question of timing was an important element. We consider it important to get the parties down to discussion of issues and substance. We believe that we have a common purpose with the Soviet Union of getting a settlement and ending a [Page 524] dangerous situation. We are reluctant, however, to tell Ambassador Jarring what to do. He must make that decision.
Dobrynin replied that Jordan was, he understood, depressed and may give up. What can be done that is practical and will help? The USSR is not trying to impose a settlement because of the Czech situation. It, too, wished to help Ambassador Jarring.
Mr. Katzenbach said that he had not brought up the Czech matter, that the Ambassador had mentioned it first.
There was general talk of the problems of the area with Mr. Katzenbach emphasizing that the Arabs primarily wanted withdrawal while the Israelis primarily want peace arrangements based on recognition of their existence and a permanent arrangement. The United States, of course, is aware that a peace treaty would be difficult, but there were other forms of settlement that could accomplish the same goal.
The Ambassador agreed to present to the Government of the USSR the views contained in the memorandum.
- Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27-14 ARAB-ISR. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Battle on September 30 and approved in U on October 9.↩
- The attached paper was summarized in telegram 254018 to Tel Aviv, October 11. (Ibid., POL 27 ARAB-ISR)↩
- See Document 245.↩
- On September 18 the Security Council adopted a resolution reaffirming the principles of Resolution 242, urging the fullest cooperation with the Jarring Mission, and stipulating that the cease-fire ordered by the Security Council in several resolutions be respected. (UN doc. S/RES/258 (1968))↩