287. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Kissinger and the Soviet Ambassador (Dobrynin)1
D: Hello, Henry.
K: One quick thing. As you know we are moving overland tomorrow.
D: To Syria?
D: How many of you? It doesn’t matter.
K: We don’t know how many people are going to be wanting to move.
D: Just those who want to?
K: Yes. We are going to keep our embassy open. For your information we have, in order to keep the situation calm, we have decided against a military evacuation and therefore are taking the overland route.
D: I understand.
K: But what I wanted to say is we are moving our fleet much closer.
D: What do you mean closer?
K: About 30 miles off the coast.
D: Why are you doing that?
K: In case there is any interference of our movement by the Palestinians.
D: You are going to announce it.
K: We are not going to announce how far. We are not going to make any threatening announcement. Just telling you for your information.
D: How many ships—it doesn’t matter.
K: About 6 ships.
They will stay until the convoy is in Syria and then will move off.
D: One convoy or more.
K: We cannot be sure now.
D: Do you hope to finish within the day.[Page 1052]
K: We have been given assurances by the Palestinians that they will not interfere. We are not expecting any trouble. If you could contact the Palestinians and urge them to cooperate. We are not looking for difficulties.
D: You have already informed them through your channels.
K: I think so.
D: They should know. We should apprise them of this information.
K: I think they already know it. It is up to you. I just want your people to know. It is not essential that you pass it to them.
D: You have passed the message for them to know. You can expect 2–3 days.
K: I think in one day—tomorrow.
D: It will then be over.
K: It could take two days. But a high probability is one day and then the fleet will move off to where it was.
D: You disappear on Sunday2 and I disappear on Saturday.
K: Yes. I am going to.
D: I am going to Bermuda with my granddaughter for one day. That is why I am interested to know everything is all right or I would postpone.
K: We don’t foresee a crisis and if everyone keeps his cool we will get it over with calmly.
D: I think so. O.K., Henry. Thank you.