320. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • Message from the Egyptians

Attached at Tab A is a message from Ismail which was delivered through the secret channel.2 After handing over the note, Ismail elaborated on several points orally. The following are the significant points in his presentation:

—The Egyptians attach great importance to future exploratory talks but these can be adversely affected by a positive response to further demands by Israel for arms, a blocking position during the coming discussions in the UN, and the continuation of Israeli air strikes against Syria and Lebanon.

—The Egyptians wish to have the first round of discussions conducted in a third country and publicly announced at the conclusion.

—Although the Egyptian Foreign Minister will be in New York, this channel remains the sole channel for the discussion of the Middle East problem between the two Presidents.

In elaborating on the above points, Ismail noted that:

—Anywhere in Europe such as London, Rome or Paris would be acceptable for the first meeting. Future sessions could be held both in the US and Egyptian capitals.

—Since the talks would be announced, it would be necessary to have the third country agree to host the talks before they begin.

—With regard to the forthcoming UN Middle East debate, the Egyptians hope the US will not obstruct the resolution but rather will accept and live with the fact that the resolution will come to pass just as it did last year.3

—These procedural modifications in no way lessen the Egyptian’s desire for talks with Dr. Kissinger.

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It is my understanding that in the UN debate which begins next week, we are presently postured to take a neutral and low-key position. You may, however, want to callGeorge Bush to ensure that our delegation is properly postured for the debate.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 131, Country Files, Middle East. Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Kissinger initialed the memorandum and wrote “OBE” at the top of the first page.
  2. Dated November 20; attached but not printed.
  3. Reference is to Resolution 2799 adopted December 13, 1971. See footnote 4, Document 270.