358. Telegram From the Department of State to the U.S. Interests Section of the Spanish Embassy in the United Arab Republic1
Washington, December 24, 1968, 2228Z.
292048. Subject: Seven Points.2
- In view all the circumstances, we do not believe it would now be useful to give formal reply to Egyptian response on seven points. We therefore do not plan to raise matter further for time being with UAR reps in Washington or New York. Should they wish to discuss, we would of course be prepared to do so.
- At your discretion, however, you may seek clarification certain points in Egyptian response through informal discussion with your contacts in Cairo. Would be useful, for instance, to have clarification of UAR positions on Golan Heights issue and refugees. There apparent contradiction between what Riad said in November 2 conversation and December 4 memo and what he and Nasser said to Governor Scranton on UAR insistence Israel withdraw from all Arab territory as condition for settlement.3 We would like to think harder line of November 2 and December 4 was bargaining position for the record and that UAR prepared be flexible on this issue. Long history of misunderstandings with Egyptians, however, indicates danger our believing Egyptians will actually be flexible when and if parties ever advance to negotiations on substance.
- On question refugees, would be useful know nature Egyptians’ reservations on proposal put forward by Secretary. Are they actually in process sounding out Palestinian opinion as Ghorbal says, or is it simply question of unwillingness commit themselves in writing at this stage?
- Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27 ARAB-ISR. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Parker; cleared by Hart, Sisco, Davies, and Eugene Rostow; and approved by Katzenbach. Repeated to USUN, Tel Aviv, and Amman.↩
- Reference is to the seven points outlined by Secretary Rusk in his November 2 conversation with Foreign Minister Riad; see Document 301.↩
- See footnote 2, Document 337, and Document 343.↩