309. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon 1
- Letter to Brezhnev
Pursuant to our discussion,2 I have prepared a letter for your signature to Communist Party Secretary Brezhnev. The letter is designed to relieve somewhat the concerns generated by the Peking initiative. It attempts to:
- —note that our dealings with the Soviets and others have been conducted on the basis of recognition of the legitimate interests of both sides;
- —note that the steps taken to improve contacts with the PRC are not based on hidden—especially anti-Soviet—motives;
- —endorse further improvement in US/USSR relations and emphasize that tactical considerations should not detract from efforts to achieve longer term goals;
- —urge continuing progress in SALT and Berlin negotiations and register concern about the dangers of the Middle East situation.
Ambassador Dobrynin believes that a letter of this kind will be most helpful in deflecting pique resulting from the Peking initiative and hopes to have a letter at an early date.
That you sign the proposed letter to Communist Party Secretary Brezhnev.[Page 915]
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 492, President’s Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1971, Vol. 7 [part 2]. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Printed from an uninitialed copy.↩
- See Document 308.↩
- No classification marking. Sonnenfeldt forwarded a draft of the letter to Kissinger on August 3. In an attached note to Kissinger, Sonnenfeldt wrote: “Could you let me know if you would like me to do any additional work on it in the next day since I am planning to take my family to the beach for a week on Thursday [August 5] morning.” Kissinger and Haig revised the text; two substantive additions are noted below. For his memoir account, see Kissinger, White House Years, p. 837.↩
- See Document 302.↩
- Kissinger inserted this sentence.↩
- Haig inserted the second half of this paragraph, i.e., the passage on what Kissinger had “already explained” to Dobrynin.↩