299. Memorandum From Director of Central Intelligence Helms to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • Request [1 line not declassified] for Initial Top-Level United States Government Reaction to Egyptian Termination of the Soviet Military Advisory Program

1. The following development has occurred since [2 lines not declassified] 13 July 1972 the thoughts of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat regarding the possibility of secret talks between Egypt and the United States, as outlined in my memorandum dated 18 July 1972.2

2. During a 19 July 1972 meeting [2 lines not declassified] asserted that President Sadat’s decision to terminate the Soviet military advisory program has created a new opportunity for the USG. [name not declassified] expressed the view that it is of great importance to both his government and to the United States Government that the latter seize this opportunity and make the most of it. [name not declassified] urged that the United States Government move—and with minimal delay—to develop a concrete plan for future action for submission to President Sadat on how to progress towards a peaceful settlement of the Middle East problem. As an opening step [3½ lines not declassified] if I could secure and forward via Agency channels as soon as possible an initial top-level United States Government reaction to the Egyptians’ termination of the Soviet military advisory program. [name not declassified] said that he would like the United States Government’s reaction as soon as possible and expressed the hope that we would be able to reply by 1 August 1972.

3. [less than 1 line not declassified] asked, as his purely personal question, whether the recent Egyptian decision to terminate the Soviet military advisory program might have any effect on President Sadat’s apparently negative position, as set forth in my memorandum dated 18 July 1972, on the possibility of an early, secret, high-level contact between our two governments. [name not declassified] gave as his opinion that high-level contact should be made only in the event that the United States Government is prepared to offer new ideas and some concrete plan.

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4. [3½ lines not declassified] indicating that the Egyptians remain very much interested in the interim solution for the reopening of the Suez Canal, a partial Israeli withdrawal from the Canal, and an international presence at Sharm As-Shaykh.

5. I would appreciate your advising me what kind of response you prefer that [less than 1 line not declassified] convey to [name not declassified] in this connection.3

6. The Department of State has not been informed of this exchange.

Richard Helms4
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 131, Country Files, Middle East. Secret; Sensitive. All brackets are in the original except those indicating text that remains classified.
  2. Not found.
  3. See footnote 4, Document 305.
  4. Helms signed “Dick” above his typed signature.