284. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Kissinger and the Soviet Ambassador (Dobrynin)1

D: I was intending to call you. You are first.

K: We have a problem in which we were wondering whether you could be of some help. Our Ambassador in Lebanon and his deputy seem to be kidnapped by somebody.2

D: You don’t know exactly?

K: We don’t know by whom. We suspect it is somebody from the rejectionist party from the PLO. We are not sure. Of course we are not blaming you for once.

D: Good.

K: But if you have him in the Russian Embassy will you send him out.

D: That is a promise.

K: Secondly, you will be in contact there with people that we are not in contact. Any influence you can use.

D: If you know anything.

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K: As soon as we know we will let you know. In the meantime if you pick up anything, if you could let us know you will have our profound gratitude.

D: I will do it right away. Gromyko told us for the decision to seek experts. He thinks they could be in contact there because it is not exactly sure when discussions will begin. They will have a chance when you are there for discussions.

K: That is the best conclusion.

D: I will send a cable right away.

K: This is not a foreign policy matter between us.

D: It is humanitarian. After all we are mutual about our ambassadors.

K: Thank you.

  1. Source: Department of State, Electronic Reading Room, Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts. No classification marking.
  2. Ambassador Francis E. Meloy, Jr. and Robert O. Waring, the Embassy’s Economic Counselor, were kidnapped in Beirut that morning by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The kidnapping came in the midst of escalation of the Lebanese civil war.