137. Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Diplomatic Posts1

118624. 1. Secretary, with Sisco and Dubs present, saw Dobrynin at latter’s initiative to receive following oral statement, text of which left in writing by Dobrynin. Statement is Soviet acceptance of US peace proposal.2

QTE The Soviet Union, as the Government of the United States is well aware, from the very start of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East has consistently sought a settlement of this conflict through political means on the basis of the UN Security Council Resolution of November 22, 1967. With this aim in mind the Soviet Union repeatedly introduced proposals directed towards practical implementation of this Resolution.3

QTE The U.S. Government declares now that it agrees to a resumption of the mission of Ambassador Jarring, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in the Middle East. It is well known that the Soviet Government has always insisted on the necessity of carrying out the mission entrusted with Ambassador Jarring, that it put forward appropriate proposals to this end and made efforts so that his mission be effective enough.

QTE That is why the Soviet side not only holds no objections to this effect but, on the contrary, it reiterates its position with regard to the necessity of resumption by Ambassador Jarring of his mission. Positively evaluating the possibilities in Ambassador Jarring’s mission, we are ready to go on making our contribution in the future as well so that contacts between the sides through Jarring which could be resumed in the nearest future could produce positive results.

QTE As we know, the Governments of the UAR and Jordan have expressed their readiness to cease fire for a definite period of time if Israel also takes upon herself the same obligation. The Soviet Government’s attitude to this is positive.

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QTE Undoubtedly, the success of Ambassador Jarring’s activities requires that both sides unequivocally declare their readiness to implement the above mentioned Resolution of the Security Council in all its parts. The Soviet side hopes that the American side is being guided by the same motivations. The Governments of the UAR and Jordan have repeatedly stated and are confirming now that they are ready to implement the Resolution in all its parts. Therefore it is necessary that Israel should also clearly state her readiness to implement this Resolution. Otherwise the sides would find themselves in an unequal position: one of them does recognize the November Resolution of the Security Council and expresses its readiness to implement it while the other side ignores it.

QTE At the same time in the interests of success of Jarring’s mission it is important that he should have a definite enough understanding as to the basis upon which contacts should take place between the sides in search of ways to implement the Resolution of the Security Council. For the success of Jarring’s mission first of all a direction is required on the main questions of settlement—the withdrawal by Israel from the Arab territories occupied during the conflict of 1967, including the question of secure and recognized boundaries along the lines which existed prior to the conflict in June 1967, and the simultaneous establishment of a just and stable peace in the Middle East. The U.S. Government, on its part, has also repeatedly emphasized the utmost importance of the above-mentioned questions. Both of these questions are organically connected with each other and should be considered jointly. Appropriate proposals to this effect have been put forward by the Soviet Government in the course of Soviet-American exchange of opinion on June 2 and also at the four-sided consultations in New York. The American side has not given so far its reply to the above mentioned proposals—neither in the course of bilateral exchange of opinion nor at the four-sided consultations. Yet these proposals are in complete conformity with the Security Council Resolution and the Soviet Government is expecting a reply from the U.S. Government.

QTE Parallel to the resumption of activities by Jarring and the initiation through him of contacts between the parties the four-sided consultations in New York should be made more active to work out agreed guidelines for Jarring. The Soviet Government on its part will be doing its best to facilitate it. END QTE.

2. After reading above QTE Oral Statement UNQTE Dobrynin made following additional points:

A. USSR statement has been made in expectation US will make necessary efforts towards achieving a just political settlement of Middle East problem and will exert its influence upon Israel.

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B. Soviets have taken into consideration US clarifications that with Jarring’s activities resumed, US–USSR bilateral consultations on Middle East will continue and US will show active and constructive approach both in Four and Two Power talks.

2 [sic]. After thanking Dobrynin, Secretary recalled one of important considerations in our proposal regarding ceasefire was that each side would commit itself not to improve its military position. Secretary said we assume that a military standstill as part of the ceasefire is also acceptable to the Soviet Union. Dobrynin responded affirmatively adding QTE Yes, of course UNQTE; it was his understanding that Foreign Minister Riad’s statement to the Secretary covered this point.

3. Secretary asked whether Soviet side saw any objections to releasing Arab response to our initiative.4 Dobrynin replied it was his understanding that UAR did not intend to publicize its response; in any event, he suggested this matter be raised with the Egyptians. Secretary said it would be helpful from our standpoint to make public simple UAR acceptance of our proposal. He understood Dobrynin’s remarks to mean that publicizing response would be acceptable to the USSR if this matter could be worked out with the UAR. Dobrynin said that he did not anticipate any objections from the Soviet side. Secretary added that US would do its part in support of Jarring to bring about a settlement, and he indicated our willingness to continue Two and Four Power talks. Secretary said that he viewed Soviets response as indication USSR was interested in a peaceful settlement; such a settlement would be in mutual US–USSR interest and in interest of world community.

4. Dobrynin stressed USSR has no objections whatsoever to having Jarring resume his mission in few days. He wanted to be sure that US understood that comment in Oral Statement referring to absence of US reply to Soviet June 2nd proposals was not meant to be a Soviet precondition for resumption of Jarring’s Mission. Dobrynin asked whether US Government had had any reply from Israel; Secretary indicated we would inform Dobrynin as soon as we could regarding this question.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1155, Saunders Files, Middle East Negotiations Files, U.S. Peace Initiative For the Middle East Vol. I. Secret; Priority; Nodis. Drafted and approved by Sisco. Sent to Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Jidda, Tel Aviv, London, Moscow, Paris, and USUN.
  2. A memorandum of conversation of this meeting is printed in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XII, Soviet Union, January 1969–October 1970, Document 184.
  3. The Soviet Union introduced its most recent formulations at the Four-Power meeting on June 24. Dobrynin first introduced the text of these formulations in confidence at a June 2 meeting with Rogers and Sisco; see Document 120.
  4. See footnote 4, Document 136. Jordan accepted in a letter to Rogers on July 26, which was transmitted in telegram 3533 from Amman, July 26. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1155, Saunders Files, Middle East Negotiations Files, U.S. Peace Initiative For the Middle East Vol. I)