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

K: I am late for a meeting with the President2 so we have to make it quick.

D: One minute. Did Hyland mention to you I called you?

K: Yes.

D: I saw two telegrams. First for the President and Secretary of State to be informed confidentially and in advance of this in Lebanon in connection with the assassination of the Ambassador and to proceed under the assurance that the United States does not intend to take any military actions. This is the first message. The second is that they were [Page 1050] in early contact with the PLO during the night. This may be belated but I think this may be of interest to you. Gromyko asked that we tell this personally for the President. The leadership of the PLO in Lebanon investigated the killing of the American Ambassador. The investigation proved the abduction was made in the neutral zone in the National Museum area. The leadership states the method is an apparent provocation of those forces which do not strive for peace but further aggravation. The PLO asked the Soviet Union to inform the United States Government of the above said. Secondly, in confidence they cannot ask for specifics to the American side but tell us in their own reply. It is important for you to know what they tell us. They have assured us that they are not going to have anything to do with what happened to the United States Ambassador but condemn those senseless acts. The Lebanese are taking most urgent measures to find and punish the criminals. One of these indications was it was not the intention of the Palestinians and that during the entire war no damage or harm has ever been done to your embassy or created in the western part of Beirut. PLO leaders reassure us the assassination of the United States Ambassador was by those who have nothing in common with the PLO. We would like to say we have no doubt as to the reliability of the information received from the PLO leaders.

K: Good. I appreciate this very much. And express my appreciation to your leadership.

D: Have you decided to do anything on the evacuation?

K: Nothing yet. I will let you know.

D: I will take it and report to you. I have some other things I will report to you later. Moscow would like to discuss with you about what we can do with Cyprus. But I will not bother you with this. I will see Hartman this afternoon and I assume Hartman will report to you.

K: Okay.

  1. Source: Department of State, Electronic Reading Room, Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts. No classification marking.
  2. The President held a meeting in the Cabinet Room that afternoon to discuss the upcoming international economic summit in Puerto Rico. (Ford Library, White House Office Files, President’s Daily Diary)