58. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union1

99315. 1. Soviet Chargé Tcherniakov called at his request on the Secretary afternoon June 17 to deliver what is in effect the Soviet counter-proposal2 to US formulations on Middle East settlement provided to the Soviets last month in SiscoDobrynin talks.3

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2. In preliminary comments, Tcherniakov said Soviet Government had considered US proposals contained in draft preliminary accord and accompanying oral comments by Sisco as well as views exchanged in US-Soviet and four power meetings. Soviet Government, guided by desire to secure just and lasting peace in Middle East on basis of Security Council Resolution 242, had prepared new plan for peaceful political settlement of Middle East problem.

3. We are giving new Soviet document urgent and detailed study. Our tentative impression, however, is that it represents very little movement and consists largely of a recasting of December 30 Soviet plan4 plus some modifications given to Sisco orally by Dobrynin, including specifically provision for deposit with UN of agreed and irrevocable document or documents covering all aspects of a settlement before Israeli withdrawal begins. Soviet document does not provide for direct negotiations between parties at any stage, does not include specific affirmation of establishment of state of peace and calls for complete withdrawal by Israel to pre-June 5, 1967 lines with all its neighbors. In prepared oral statement commenting on this document Tcherniakov noted among other things that on the whole it reflects Soviet views and that, if agreement is reached with USG, Soviets will need to obtain final consent from Arab side.

4. Following foregoing presentation, Tcherniakov said he was instructed to propose that venue of US-Soviet talks be moved to Moscow. Secretary said we would study Soviet document carefully. Re moving bilaterals to Moscow, Secretary noted that we had earlier informed Dobrynin we might be willing to hold some of talks there. We would consider this suggestion and give Soviets our reply after we had completed study of document Tcherniakov had delivered.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 649, Country Files, Middle East, Middle East Negotiations, June 1969. Secret; Nodis; Noforn. Drafted by Atherton on June 17; cleared in substance by Sisco, Walsh, and Swank; and approved by Sisco. Repeated to Amman, USINT Cairo, Tel Aviv, London, Paris, and USUN.
  2. The oral statements made by Tcherniakov and the official U.S. Government translation of the Soviet text on the “Basic Provisions” of a Middle East settlement are in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXIII, Arab-Israeli Dispute, 1969–1972.
  3. For a summary of the nine exploratory discussions held between Sisco and Dobrynin March–April, see Document 38.
  4. See footnote 4, Document 1.