110. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) and the Soviet Ambassador (Dobrynin)1

Dobrynin: I have a reply from Moscow in connection with the two or three talks with the President on the convocation of the Security Council. Here is a summary:

We have a serious doubt about what kind of results could be achieved by a hasty convocation of the Security Council meeting right now. As far as we know not a single side asked for a convocation of the Security Council from the conflicting parties.2

Secondly, the circumstances are not quite clear in a sense that there is no yet clear communications with the conflicting parties. We presume, both we and you, have no circumstance to have good communications with the parties of the conflict to find out what is going on. Under these circumstances, we feel it would be rather undesirable to have the meeting because this meeting would lead to open polemics between yours and ours as is well known our position in the Middle East [Page 318]is known. And our positions wouldn’t change for this particular meeting of the Security Council. We would be forced to state our known position and open confrontation with you.

Our position in the Middle East for many years since ’67—Israel who occupied Arab lands and victims of aggression, the Arab countries, whose territories are occupied. We don’t think this will lead anywhere. We will be forced to say already there are good resolutions in the UN organization. The matter is to fulfill them. We feel it is undesirable to convene the Security Council. At the same time in the complicated and rather dangerous situation, the matter continues of close consultation between us and how to settle the Middle East problem. This is a summary of the telegram. I will be here. I am available.3

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 68, Country Files, Europe, USSR, Dobrynin/Kissinger, Vol. 19, July 13, 1973–Oct. 11, 1973. Top Secret.
  2. At 5:20 p.m., Ambassador Scali telephoned Kissinger to report that Security Council members favored informal consultations among individual members, the purpose of which would be to produce a paper under the name of Sir Laurence McIntyre, President of the Security Council, or the Secretary General appealing to both sides for a cease-fire, rather than a formal meeting. Scali questioned whether informal Security Council sessions would be adequate and warned that unless the Security Council was formally seized of the matter, it might lead to a big General Assembly debate. Kissinger said that they would be getting messages from the Soviets in the next hour and that he would then have specific instructions. (Ibid., Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Transcripts (Telcons), Chronological File, Box 22)
  3. At 6:20 p.m., Kissinger telephoned Dobrynin and asked for his interpretation of the Soviet message. Dobrynin responded that his impression was that his government did not have information from the Arabs and thought that a Security Council session would become polemical with their two countries on the front lines. Kissinger pointed out that there had been a military attack and that it was one thing for the Soviet Union to take a stand in preliminary negotiations, but quite another once hostilities had started. He asked why, if the Soviets knew of the impending attack, they did not inform the United States. He warned that a brawl in the General Assembly on Monday (October 8) would make the situation insoluble and noted that the United States had been holding up the Israelis on bombing but doubted it could keep this up. Dobrynin promised to talk to Moscow. (Ibid.) Printed in Kissinger, Crisis, pp. 63–65.