90. Telegram From the Department of State to the U.S. Interests Section of the Spanish Embassy in the United Arab Republic1

118628. Subj: Jarring Mission. Ref: Tel Aviv 2589;2 Cairo 1675.3

Dept believes that formula Eban gave Jarring (Tel Aviv reftel) and which we assume by now Jarring has put to UAR meets any legitimate concerns and doubts which UAR may have had. We therefore want you to see appropriate UAR officials immediately, once you have ascertained that Jarring has in fact conveyed formula to UAR, pressing Egyptians to accept latest Israeli formulation. We were deeply concerned about UAR attitude reflected in most recent Riad presentation to Bergus, particularly unwillingness to indicate clearly and categorically [Page 186] that negotiations would be undertaken (we do not mean direct negotiations here) to get at specifics of SC resolution in toto and to move towards “agreement” mentioned in para 3 of SC resolution. We believe Bergus should bore in strongly to this effect since UAR seems to hold view that all that is required is “respect and implementation” of SC resolution, apparently without any explicit recognition that negotiations (discussions) are required in order to achieve agreement on specific elements, i.e., withdrawal, secure and recognized boundaries, end of belligerency, freedom of passage, demilitarization, refugees, etc., all of which resolution mentions specifically.
Bergus should make clear to UAR that, while we agree that there has been unfortunate amount of semantical jockeying with various formulations, present lack of clarity in UAR responses casts doubt on Egyptian willingness to face fact that some form of negotiations is necessary in order to come to an understanding. As follow up to Goldberg talk with El Kony Feb 19, Bergus should press for Egyptian acceptance of Bunche-Rhodes formula.
As to possible SC action on any aspect of ME problem, we feel that this would represent a serious setback to efforts being made by Jarring, would not achieve constructive results, and would only produce futile repetition of long, drawn-out propaganda statements carrying all concerned further away from prospect of peace.4
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27 ARAB-ISR. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Sisco, cleared by Davies, and approved by Battle. Repeated to Tel Aviv, Amman, and USUN.
  2. In telegram 2589 from Tel Aviv, February 20, the Embassy transmitted the Foreign Office text of a statement of the Israeli position on the implementation of Resolution 242, as conveyed by Eban to Jarring during their February 19 conversation. The statement emphasized the importance of “meaningful” negotiations between Israel and the Arab states to move toward a lasting peace in the area, and indicated that Israel was willing to have such negotiations at a meeting convened by Jarring, suggesting a format for the negotiations similar to that used at Rhodes in 1949. (Ibid.) The text of the Israeli statement, as conveyed by Eban to Jarring on February 19, is printed in Public Papers of the Secretaries-General of the United Nations, Vol. VIII, U Thant, 1968-1971, pp. 516-517.
  3. Document 86.
  4. Bergus reported on February 22 that in a meeting with Mohamed Riad on February 21 he made the demarche as instructed. Riad responded that the UAR position was that it was prepared to discuss and negotiate through Jarring. (Telegram 1713 from Cairo; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 27 ARAB-ISR)