46. Memorandum From Harold Saunders of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • SiscoDobrynin Meeting, May 8

At their meeting on Thursday, Sisco presented more of our preliminary document, and Dobrynin again emphasized that no comment was possible until the Soviets have the complete document.2

Dobrynin said that if he were in Moscow he would recommend against a reply at this time. Moscow will have to consult with the Arabs, and the one-sided fragments presented so far in the US “striptease” would only bring a negative reaction from Cairo. Sisco said we have consulted with the Israelis.

Sisco gave Dobrynin the following points (at the previous meeting he gave him 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7):

  • 8 and 9—Mutual recognition of sovereignty, territorial integrity, territorial inviolability and political independence.
  • 11—Freedom of navigation in the Gulf of Aqaba and the Suez Canal.
  • 12—The refugee settlement including an option for repatriation with an agreed ceiling on the number to be allowed into Israel. Dobrynin commented that it would be hard to put this contradiction into a document, but Sisco said this might be done with an informal understanding worked out by Jarring. Dobrynin also suggested that there be a specified time period for implementing the refugee solution.
  • 13—The final accord would enter into force when signed by both parties. Dobrynin said the USSR envisaged implementation stretched over a period of time although the obligations would exist from the beginning.

Sisco confirmed that points 4, 5 and 10 and the preamble—which the US has not presented—deal with withdrawal, boundaries, and demilitarization.

Sisco briefed Argov on the above Thursday afternoon. Sisco’s third and final meeting with Dobrynin in this round takes place Monday morning.

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Comment: So far, little Soviet reaction. It is interesting, however, that in New York last Thursday Malik said he hoped we had noted two important steps the USSR had taken toward us in the past week:

They have opened the door to border changes and delineation of permanent boundaries;
They circulated a public document (letter to U Thant) calling for observance of the cease-fire on the Suez Canal.

We will know more only when Moscow reacts to our full proposal. This will probably take several days following Sisco’s Monday presentation.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 725, Country Files, Europe, SiscoDobrynin Talks, Part II, May 1969. Secret; Nodis.
  2. In telegram 72809 to Moscow, May 9, the Department provided a full account of the SiscoDobrynin session on May 8. (Ibid.)