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

D: I have checked about what you mentioned.2 About the 29th or the 30th and about SALT. He was not quite positive; now I want to check, about the three points the Foreign Minister mentioned, you remember. He would like to check his impression. Is it possible that we could get a reply while he is still here?

K: My personal opinion … or would you rather that I check first?

D: I think I would like you to check.

K: I think you cannot get a formal reply while he’s here.

D: It’s not a question of a formal reply but one on which we could rely.

K: What would you like to have?

D: Some kind of private [omission in transcript—understanding?] between you and me and him that there will be a beginning, something approximate.3

K: I understand. My personal opinion, I could try and I would check this … to get you a private understanding. In that case, we have to be realistic. If we are serious about what you said, we have to do it in a way so that there wouldn’t be screaming like there was in July. You have to rely on us to do it in the best way possible.

D: Will we be able to talk tomorrow?

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K: Yes, we could talk in New York. What sort of an understanding do you want? Try to get the Jarring mission started again?

D: The two of us work together and with the understanding that it would happen in a certain time. Clear understanding within the lines he mentioned. Understanding that you really think it will happen and we can rely on that. In this sense can you tell me something tomorrow?

K: I will try. We can talk tomorrow and I may be able to tell you something more definitive Sunday afternoon.4 I can probably give you some indication of the President’s attitude tomorrow and by Sunday tell you what the chances are of getting it done. But we have to keep this in our channels.

D: He would like to have a more positive and definitive answer if possible. If not possible we will have to send it to him. I think it would be useful. To whatever extent you can do it tomorrow and Sunday would be useful.

K: I can get word to you tomorrow. I will be in the President’s entourage. Where can I find you?

D: The Indonesian lobby.

K: The President is going afterward to the U.S. mission; he will be there for 45 minutes.

D: I will wait in the Indonesian lobby within 45 minutes after he leaves the UN building.5

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 7, Chronological File. No classification marking.
  2. See Document 25.
  3. Reference is to the Soviet proposal to begin substantive talks on the Middle East.
  4. October 25.
  5. Kissinger called Dobrynin at 11 a.m. on October 23 to discuss a change of venue. After considering various options, the two men agreed to meet at the Soviet Mission in New York at 4:45 p.m. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 7, Chronological File)