189. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Soviet Ambassador (Dobrynin)1

K: I am sitting on back patio thinking about peaceful coexistence.

D: Good for you, Henry. I am living with the same thought. I will be in Moscow thinking in the same way.

K: When you talk to your leaders I hope you convey that thought to them. I gave your message2 to the President. This is not the way to give you an answer but we thought it was a constructive reply and we will be taking a personal interest, as you have also recommended to us on this problem from now on. We will also know some of the details from now on, but not as well as our friend Sisco.

D: I understand.

K: On the other matter which you brought up with me, we also looked at this and we also find elements of discussion on it when you return.

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D: Elements for discussion?

K: What we need, Anatol, on that is some program of how to get from here to there which I have often suggested to you. We need to work out some procedure for getting things going on the European thing.

D: On the European?

K: On the European. We will talk to you when you return. We are looking at it in a constructive attitude.

D: From here to there? On the main question.

K: Well, that too but I am assuming that you will reply when you are ready. We have never really had any discussions on European matters, you and I, and it would be useful to clarify some of that. The President has asked me to let you know of our constructive spirit.

D: This is No. 2.

K: Yes.

K: When are you leaving?

D: Tomorrow night.

K: When are you coming back?

D: I hope by four weeks—just enough to gain strength to conduct discussions.

K: That will give you an unfair advantage.

D: What about you?

K: I am working on the budget. You are building so many SS–9’s. You are upsetting the balance.

D: Do you expect reply only on what I said to you—but on when we begin to move.

K: Well, I would think fairly soon after that but it would be helpful to have you where we can talk to you, particularly on the issue which you brought back in your message to me. I think that would be easier to discuss on a restricted basis.

D: Yes. This is out of question. I was thinking on the more diplomatic side.

K: What way? Do it in Moscow?

D: On your proposal on how we will move.

K: We would then try to get the ceasefire agreed to.

D: I think you already discussed this with the Egyptians in my impression.

K: Yes. If I may make suggestion, it would be extremely helpful if you would exercise restraint.

D: I think meeting productive.

K: I think shortly afterwards one can start activating the [omission in the source text].

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D: It could begin in New York.

K: That would be one possibility. I have heard Cyprus as another.

D: We will say nothing. New York is a good place.

K: We have no objection to that. It is a natural place.

D: I think it can be worked out.

K: Whom do I deal with when you are gone?

D: I hope you won’t spoil my vacation. I hope that there will be no surprise like last time when I went home to Moscow on major issues. There will definitely be no answer to No. 1 question.

K: Watch your language. I don’t anticipate anything. You know our basic position. If your friends in Hanoi do something, we would have to react. But you should expect nothing from us.

D: I am talking about our conversation.

K: I understand very well.

D: I also.

K: Come back reasonably rested but not so much that you have the advantage over us. I will be dealing with Vorontsov.

D: I will be here.

K: I don’t anticipate any bilateral business but if we want to get urgent message to you—

D: I will be the man.

K: We look forward to seeing you when you come back.

D: I got letter today thanking me for very good reception at White House when your assistants were there. They gave your personal greetings.

K: Thank you very much.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 364, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking.
  2. See footnote 3, Document 185.