285. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Kissinger and the Soviet Ambassador (Dobrynin)1
K: Anatol, how are you. You know our Ambassador . . .2
D: I heard, I am sorry.
K: I wanted to tell you that we are moving our fleet closer in as a precaution only if necessary to evacuate our people. We have 1400 Americans there and I wanted you to know that we have no intention of a military operation in Lebanon and that the only purpose is to move our people out. We will let you know the names of the ships. I think it would be helpful if we could avoid threatening notes back and forth.
D: Closer to the shore?
K: They are going to stay 12–14 hours out.
D: Of the time to go—our time?
K: 12–14 hours away from the coast.
D: You will take 12 hours to reach the shore—I understand.[Page 1049]
K: And the reason I called you is so that we can avoid shooting at each other because we have to decide within the next 48 hours which way to evacuate Americans and which way . . .
D: What do you mean which way.
K: Whether by helicopter or by road into Syria.
D: I understand.
K: If we do it by road we will move the ships back.
D: You really . . .
K: It depends on military operations—what is going on in Lebanon. We cannot afford to have any more Americans killed there.
D: You have already decided?
K: No, we will make the decision within the next 48 hours.
D: I will inform my people.
K: It is intended as a friendly gesture to you.
D: I thank you for informing me and I will inform my people right away.
K: O.K. Anatol.