71. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to the Moscow summit.]

K: We have to get the summit in shape.2

P: Well, we have kept everything in limbo for the last week.

K: I notice now that Dobrynin has surfaced those things in official channels.

P: He has?

K: He has been playing the game and kept it divided among various departments.

P: Right.

K: I will see him this Thursday.3 I just spoke to Haig briefly. On the Middle East, get it done before the election and brutalize them after the election.

P: That secret deal still concerns me.

K: That’s the problem—not to do it at the summit but conclude it a little later. There will be less time for it to blow.

P: That might be but I don’t want to raise the opportunity—

K: We have made very concrete propositions to them. It is now up to them. We have got to get the Soviets out of the Middle East.

P: We can talk about it. We need to get a plan to know what we are going to do. That is one area we want to take charge of the policy and run it our own way. State is looking at it in terms of just the Middle East. We are looking at it in terms of the Soviets.

K: That’s it.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to the Moscow summit.]

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 371, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking.
  2. In his diary entry for March 29, Haldeman recorded: “K was in talking about the Russian trip and the problems of whether we stay at the Kremlin or not, how many days we stay in Russia, and all that sort of thing. The P also raised the point of whether he ought to speak to the Russian people on television as Eisenhower did, or was going to do and Nixon actually did.” (The Haldeman Diaries: Multimedia Edition)
  3. March 30; see Document 76.