204. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Sisco)1

S: Henry, we have just received a telegram from Moscow2 which you probably will have received in San Clemente by now. I am having a check run. Let me read it to you because it is a note—an oral type thing. (Sisco read the message.)

S: The Soviet Government expects that the Government of USA will undertake the steps to prevent Israel from taking the steps they are planning. Our man in Moscow believes we should come back urgently with action he recommends.

K: Thing is not true, of course.

S: We have talked about this here and think it affords us an opportunity to do the following. Vorontsov just asked to see me urgently and he is meeting with me at 2:30 pm today. At the meeting I will just say thank you very much and receive the message. I will take two steps. We ought to tell the Israelis that this note has been received and, of course, we wish to repeat to them what we really said the other day that we assume that there is not going to be any unilateral action on their part and how serious this would be. The second phase would be to go back to the Russians and say we have taken action in this regard but we want to say to you that you have a responsibility and we have then put them in a position of getting these things out of here and then to conclude by saying once these missiles have been removed, you, the Russians will no longer have any worry about this. I would like to proceed this way. This raises the question of the letter you have.

K: The Secretary does not wish to send it. And I am not prepared to overrule him.

S: Then we can proceed in this way which will achieve the same thing but it gives us the opportunity to (K interrupted here).

K: Let me tell you my reaction. I would not give color to the fact that we have taken appropriate measures. That gives them a shot at the Arabs. All we need to do is tell Rabin that we have had this communication and I would not make any new views. I would not go back [Page 617] to the Russians today and then today I would go back with essentially what you have done here.

S: Without claiming the credit.

K: That would be my recommendation.

S: Okay, that makes sense. I will proceed with that.

K: Good.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 364, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking.
  2. Document 202.