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

K: There are several things. I have talked to the President about our discussions and he thinks matters are moving in a positive direction.2 There’s a number of things he wanted to make sure of. The second item we discussed,3 he wanted to make sure you understood that it was not a formal proposal but the direction of our thinking.

D: Oh yes, you made that clear.

K: I thought I did.

D: You were thinking in that direction; not formalized, but outline.

K: But one thing I wanted to make clear on a problem we have with your friends.4 When we are thinking about something, they go and make a public announcement in the same direction. They have to talk to us or to the New York Times; they have to decide. If they put something out now publicly, we will disavow it and say that no such thing is true. If they want to talk, we will be serious. Within this spirit we are prepared to be as constructive as possible. If this process doesn’t get anywhere by the end of this year, then negotiation isn’t the way to do it.

D: You made that clear.

K: And on that point he asked me to reaffirm [omission in transcript] and also about the timing.5 The [omission in transcript] of your colleague to how the timing might be handled.

D: You mentioned the first stage and the second stage.

K: … thinking out loud, but this was an idea he thought had merit.

D: Fine. I will mention that.

K: And finally, I forgot to thank your Foreign Minister for the package he sent.

D: I will do it for you.

K: And tell him it was greatly appreciated.

[Page 1084]

D: Certainly. I think this will help … yesterday’s meeting was good in all senses.

K: That was my impression, and the President was very pleased with my report of it. Give my best regards to your Minister.

D: All right, I will.6

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 27, Dobrynin File. No classification marking.
  2. See Document 345.
  3. Vietnam. See Document 344.
  4. North Vietnamese.
  5. Reference is to negotiations on the Middle East, including proposals for an interim and final settlement.
  6. Kissinger called Nixon at 12:40 and reported: “Dobrynin just called and said Gromyko considers these the most constructive he has had. Visit good in every conceivable way.” The two men then discussed plans to notify various countries before the announcement of Kissinger’s trip to China: “P: It’s good they [Soviets] are prepared for the announcement on Tuesday [October 5]. K: I haven’t told them the date. P: Play that very low key. I don’t think there should be a lot of confrontation.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 11, Chronological File)