193. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union1

209304. We suggest that you see Jarring and make following points:

1. We continue to expect a favorable decision from GOI to resume talks.2 Our hope is that Jarring can get started early January.

2. We understand that he must prepare SYG report to SC. You should make clear to Jarring that in our view he should resist the temptation to be critical in his report over the Israeli delay to resume talks.3 Such a judgment would necessarily be taken as one-sided. While Jarring or the UN admittedly had no responsibility for negotiating cease-fire/standstill, delay in resumption of the talks, regrettable as we feel it is, cannot be unrelated to violations of the cease-fire/standstill. We assume Jarring would not want to get into this, and therefore, we urge him to submit briefest kind of report saying that he intends to get on with job of negotiations between the parties.

3. You should explore with Jarring the desirability of an early move (if not immediately at outset) on his part to have these talks resume at his headquarters in Cyprus, at the Foreign Minister level. We [Page 682] believe this would constitute a much more serious beginning than an exchange at the UN Representatives level.

4. We will want to discuss this idea further with him and will have some concrete suggestions after his arrival in New York as to how we believe he should proceed. You should say to him that we are prepared to play an active role diplomatically in support of him. You should indicate to him our feeling that we have reached the stage where he as the UN Representative will have to take considerable initiative in assuring that there is a serious engagement between the parties. This means formulating Qte contingent ideas Unqte, trying them out on the parties, and insisting on specific reactions to specific ideas. Under US June proposal Jarring has maximum latitude as to procedure he employs.

5. He should know that we consider the commitments made by both sides in the August 7th US proposal stand. This means (A) that UAR and Jordan are committed to the principle of recognizing Israel’s right to exist as a state and to live in peace within secure and recognized borders, and (B) that Israel has committed itself to the principle of withdrawal in accordance with Security Council Resolution 242.

6. He could start initially developing areas of agreement. We believe much of the specific phraseology contained in October and December 1969 US proposals4 will prove to be useful to Jarring. For example, formulation on peace falls short of what Israelis want but our judgment is that it would satisfy them. Equally, while peace language goes slightly beyond where UAR has been willing to go, we believe based on Soviet response of last June,5 that UAR would buy peace formulation contained in those documents. Jordan has already given positive indication to it. Also there should be no serious problem re freedom of passage.

7. Jarring should know that we intend to discuss the idea of guarantees in the Four Powers after his talks begin.6 Our objective in these [Page 683] talks will be to provide qte a series of options unqte for Jarring to try out on the parties. We are against the idea of a formulation which would appear to be a Four Power imposed conclusion and judgment. None of the major powers is in a position to foist upon any of the parties either practical security arrangements or supplementary international guarantees which they might not want.

8. You should indicate to Jarring in clearest terms that we feel next six months are critical; that we are sure he would agree with us that after the long period of waiting a tremendous amount of imagination and initiative is going to be required by him on the assumption that he is expendable if need be. Jarring will not misunderstand what we mean by this. We know in the past Israelis have felt that Jarring’s putting forward ideas is contrary to his mandate. We believe he must do this and it can be done in such a way that it will avoid giving GOI valid grounds for saying that he is going beyond his mandate by putting forward formal proposals. This is another reason for establishing identifiable negotiating format by convening delegations on Cyprus; since in such circumstances it would be much more difficult for Israelis to explain suspending participation and their cooperation with him that it would be if they could simply follow device of recalling their UN PermRep for consultations.7

9. Anything you can elicit from Jarring on his talk with UAR Foreign Minister would obviously be helpful.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 714, Country Files, Europe, U.S.S.R., Vol. XI. Secret; Priority; Nodis. Drafted by Sisco, cleared by Armitage and Atherton, and approved by Sisco. Repeated Priority to USUN and to Cairo, Tel Aviv, Amman, and Nicosia. Kissinger wrote the following note on the telegram: “Why didn’t we clear this? If Saunders can’t do it, we’ll get somebody who will. HK.”
  2. On December 28, the Israeli Cabinet issued a communiqué announcing Israel’s decision to resume participation in the Jarring talks. It reads: “The Government decided today that the present political and military conditions enable and justify the termination of the suspension of Israel’s participation in talks under the auspices of Ambassador Jarring. The Government decided to authorize the Minister for Foreign Affairs to inform those concerned of the readiness of the Government of Israel to resume its participation in the Jarring talks, in accordance with the basic principles of the Government’s policy and on the basis of its resolutions of 31 July and 4 August 1970, as approved by the Knesset, concerning Israel’s affirmative reply to the American peace initiative.” (Israel’s Foreign Policy: Historical Documents, volumes 1–2, 1947–1974, Chapter XII, The War of Attrition and the Cease Fire, Document 25) The Embassy transmitted the text of the communiqué in telegram 7063 from Tel Aviv, December 28. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Box 1157, Saunders Files, Middle East Negotiations Files, June Initiative Vol. V)
  3. Beam reported in telegram 7655 from Moscow, December 23, that Jarring had “expressed disappointment that his report will have to be negative toward Israel because of its continued failure to respond” to him on the issue of resuming peace talks. (Ibid., Box 714, Country Files, Europe, U.S.S.R., Vol. XI) The Secretary-General’s report was released on January 4. For the text, see Israel’s Foreign Policy: Historical Documents, volumes 1–2, 1947–1974, Chapter XII, The War of Attrition and the Cease Fire, Document 27.
  4. See Documents 58 and 78.
  5. See Document 34.
  6. Yost read a statement in the January 18, 1971, Four-Power meeting that addressed the issue of guarantees: “As I have previously informed the other members of the group, the US believes that it would be useful for the Four to discuss the general question of supplementary guarantees. We strongly believe that the question of guarantees cannot be a substitute for either serious negotiations between the parties under Ambassador Jarring’s auspices or a binding, contractual peace agreement containing reciprocal commitments between the parties. I am authorized to inform you that we are prepared to begin these discussions in the Four as soon as we are satisfied that substantive talks under Ambassador Jarring will continue and that the parties will concentrate upon these quiet, diplomatic efforts to reach a settlement rather than resort to the Security Council or other forms of public propaganda.” (Telegram 8169 to USUN, January 17; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1158, Saunders Files, Middle East Negotiations Files, Middle East Negotiations—Four Power Talks, August 13, 1970–November 15, 1971) A summary of the meeting is in telegram 147 from USUN, January 19. (Ibid.)
  7. In telegram 7702 from Moscow, December 26, the Embassy reported Beam’s conversation with Jarring that morning, during which the Special Representative said that he would consider the Department’s recommendation that the Arab-Israeli talks be quickly moved to Cyprus upon their resumption. Thinking aloud, Jarring “enumerated” the disadvantages and advantages of such a move: the disadvantages being a lack of security and the possibility that the United Arab Republic and Jordan would regard the change of venue as an “Israeli maneuver to delay serious discussion and device to engage them in direct talks” and the advantages being a “permanent negotiating format” with special delegations and “minimal press interference.” (Ibid., Box 714, Country Files, Europe, U.S.S.R., Vol. XI) Jarring opened indirect talks with Israeli, Jordanian, and UAR representatives in New York on January 5. (New York Times, January 6, 1971, p. 1)