285. Telegram From the Department of State to the Interests Section in Egypt1
56147. 1. You should ask to see Ghaleb as soon as possible drawing to extent you deem appropriate on following points, without repeat without indicating you are doing so on instruction from Washington.
2. You are concerned that reported remarks by President Sadat in speech at military base in Delta, to effect that he plans to inform special session of People’s Assembly about recent contacts with USG, may mean he plans reveal fact if not substance of message from Secretary to Sadat.2 These special sessions are usually accompanied by full briefings to press afterwards. Even without briefing to press, disclosure of information to audience of several hundred maximizes opportunity for leaks. You wish to recall to Ghaleb that it was Foreign Minister himself who urged us to hold fact and nature of Secretary’s message very closely. USG has taken considerable pains to do so and has not revealed its existence even to closest friends. Disclosure of message in Cairo will do nothing to advance prospect of negotiations on any front and on contrary will only weaken confidence in Washington and other capitals that when they have something to convey of private or confidential nature Egyptian Government can be relied upon to respect such communications. It would be shortsighted to assume that there will not be occasions in future when both of our governments will want to have this [Page 996] kind of confidence in one another, which is essential for any kind of diplomatic dialogue.3
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 658, Country Files, Middle East, Middle East Nodis/Cedar/Plus, Vol. V. Secret; Nodis; Cedar Double Plus. Drafted by Sterner, cleared by Davies and Atherton, and approved by Rogers.↩
- In Sadat’s March 31 speech at an air base in the Nile Delta, he not only said that war with Israel was “inevitable” but also promised to expose exchanges with the United States. (New York Times, April 1, 1972, p. 2) For the Secretary’s message, see Document 276.↩
- Greene met with Ghaleb on the morning of April 3. Ghaleb said that when Sadat responded to Rogers’s February message to him, Greene would be the “first to know,” and that the response could possibly come “in the next few days.” Greene explained that the timing was not as important to the United States as the fact that the exchanges remain confidential, as the Government of Egypt had previously mandated. Ghaleb agreed on the importance of confidentiality and said that Sadat’s response would concern this question. (Telegram 962 from Cairo, April 3; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 658, Country Files, Middle East, Middle East Nodis/Cedar/Plus, Vol. V)↩