17. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations1

44729. Subject: Four-Power Consultations on ME.

1. Following is text of U.S. working paper to be given to other three major powers (guidance septel):2

Begin text: Views to be conveyed to Ambassador Jarring and to the principal parties on ways and means to achieve agreement in accordance with Security Council Resolution 242 of November 22, 1967.

The following views are conveyed to Ambassador Jarring and to the principal parties concerned with a view to helping promote agreement called for in Security Council Resolution of November 22, 1967:

1. That the parties accept SC Resolution 242 and state their willingness to implement it in all of its provisions in accordance with paragraph 3 of the resolution.

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2. There should be agreement between the parties on all elements of a settlement before implementation of any part of the package begins.

3. That the parties agree to exchange substantive views indirectly under the auspices of Ambassador Jarring, without prejudice to engaging in a more direct process at an appropriate stage. We believe that it will not be possible to reach a settlement without more direct Arab-Israeli contact at some point.

4. The objective should be a just and lasting peace based on agreement between the parties. The form of settlement must be contractually and reciprocally binding and may involve international participation as part of an overall guarantee of its terms.

5. A just and lasting peace will require withdrawal of Israeli forces to secure and recognized boundaries in the context of peace arrived at by agreement between the parties. The boundaries to be established under a just and lasting peace are intimately related to important security considerations for both sides: rectifications from pre-existing lines should be confined to those required for mutual security and should not reflect the weight of conquest. The question of Israeli withdrawal is intimately linked with a contractual commitment to peace from the Arabs and specific provisions for guarantees. Special arrangements should be considered for Gaza.

6. Certain critical areas should be demilitarized.

7. Jordan should have a defined role—civil, economic and religious—in Jerusalem which would remain a unified city. Arrangements would be made to assure the interest of all religions.

8. An overall settlement must provide for solution of the refugee problem. A refugee settlement should provide for the exercise of free choice by the refugees between resettlement with compensation and repatriation under conditions and controls acceptable to the two sides. The parties should agree to a mechanism which can work on this problem for an extended period.

9. Free navigation for the ships of all nations, including Israel, in the Suez Canal as well as the Gulf of Aqaba must be assured. Special arrangements will be required for Sharm al-Shaykh.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 648, Country Files, Middle East, Middle East Negotiations. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Drafted by Arthur R. Day (IO/UNP), cleared by Sisco and De Palma, and approved by De Palma. Repeated Priority to Amman and to Jidda, Beirut, London, Kuwait, Moscow, Paris, Tel Aviv, and Cairo.
  2. In telegram 44730, March 22, the Department instructed the Ambassadors in Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. Minister in Egypt, to deliver copies of the U.S. working paper to their host governments on March 24, at which time Yost would be presenting the paper in the Four-Power meeting in New York scheduled for that day. The telegram also provided oral comments for the U.S. representatives to deliver as they distributed the working paper. (Ibid.)