269. Letter From President Nixon to Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev 1

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I have carefully noted the contents of your letter of December 8, 1971.2 My own views of the basic issues involved in the conflict on the [Page 747] Indian Subcontinent were expressed in my previous letter3 and in my conversation with your Minister of Agriculture.4

The situation is constantly deteriorating and as it does the adverse implications grow for our relations and for progress toward a stable international peace.

The proposals, contained in your letter, concerning the political evolution of East Pakistan appear to be being met. Pakistanʼs actions today in this respect were largely due to our influence initiated immediately upon receipt of your letter.

This must now be followed by an immediate cease-fire in the West. If this does not take place, we would have to conclude that there is in progress an act of aggression directed at the whole of Pakistan, a friendly country toward which we have obligations.

I therefore propose an immediate joint appeal for a complete cease-fire.

Meanwhile, I urge you in the strongest terms to restrain India with which, by virtue of your treaty, you have great influence and for whose actions you must share responsibility.


Richard Nixon
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 497, Presidentʼs Trip Files, Exchange of Notes Between Dobrynin and Kissinger, Vol. 2. No classification marking.
  2. Document 253.
  3. Document 236.
  4. See Document 257.