310. Information Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson 1

Mr. President:

You will be interested in this Soviet approach in the wake of Eban’s memorandum.2

Despite contrary noises in the press, I do believe that, if we put our shoulder to the wheel, we have a chance of turning the corner in the Middle East in the next several months. Quiet collaboration with the Soviet Union in getting behind the next phase of the Jarring mission could be important and useful.

Interestingly enough, our people have been discussing in the last few days how to weave U.S.-Soviet consultation into the next stage of the Middle East peace effort.

W. W. Rostow 3
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, Walt W. Rostow, Vol. 104, 11/5-8/68. Secret.
  2. A note on the memorandum indicates that telegram 7630 from USUN, November 8, was attached. Telegram 7630 reported on a November 7 conversation between Ambassador Buffum of USUN and Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister V. S. Semenov. In his analysis of the prospects for a peace settlement in the Middle East, Semenov put a positive reading on the latest Israeli position (see Document 302). Semenov agreed with Buffum that the next step was to persuade all parties to the conflict to give Jarring more to work with while seeking to maintain an atmosphere in the Middle East that was conducive to negotiations. Semenov also suggested that in approaching the next phase of the Jarring Mission, the United States and the Soviet Union should begin a systematic exchange of views on the key problems involved in a settlement. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27-14 ARAB-ISR) A more extensive record of this meeting was transmitted to the Department in airgram A-2600 from USUN, November 8. (Ibid., POL 27 ARAB-ISR) Under Secretary Rostow took up Semenov’s suggestion in a luncheon meeting with Ambassador Dobrynin on November 8 when they discussed prospects for the Jarring Mission at length. (Telegram 269827 to Tel Aviv, November 9; ibid.)
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.