178. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

K: Mr. President

P: Hi Henry

K: I just wanted to tell you I talked to Dobrynin today.2

P: Yeah, yeah. (Wanted to know about the outcome)

K: I don’t know what you did with the Arabs …3

P: Pleasant talk

K: Want an agreement on SALT, we can sign at any level. He said about the Middle East—why did you raise it now? I told you I wanted to talk to you. (Didn’t raise it the last time I saw him.) He said come to dinner, come to lunch. I told him I just may.

P: Do you think he really is frightened?

K: Frightened, we are getting their attention. After this thing, he said we will offer you these (proposals?), he was drooling all over the place.

P: Nothing about Vietnam. Push him off, we will handle it ourselves. The press and newspapers are getting very [omission in the source text]. About the Russian SAMs, want to know how you can let them get away with it.

(Three new SS–9s were mentioned)

P: I hope he is disturbed.

K: Yes, he is disturbed I think on the Middle East. If we don’t pull away too much … Sisco … (the only contribution I have, it isn’t enough we may have to do more).

P: I am for Israel, for reasons. Want to let a little country survive—can’t let the Russians come in and control the crossroads of the world. I think the fact our perils [sic] work so closely, the big stakes is Soviet/American confrontation.

[Omitted here is discussion of topics unrelated to the Soviet Union.]

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 364, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking.
  2. See Document 177.
  3. All ellipses in the source text.