127. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and Secretary of State Kissinger1

K: I forgot to mention to you this morning that I had worked out with Benites, the President of the GA, that he would recognize only three speakers. We did not want a debate in the General Assembly. It would have been a massacre. The Syrians, Egyptians and Eban spoke and the GA adjourned on that topic. This afternoon at 3:30 we are speaking. We have a rather good statement for the Security Council but it is mild.2

N: Yes.

K: So far no one else has asked for the floor. The Soviets are playing the game we discussed this morning. They are laying low.

N: Yes.

K: We will be the only ones speaking and the only one with a proposal. I have just talked to the Egyptian For. Min. and he will not speak [Page 374]unless Eban does. I have a call into Eban to tell him not to speak.3 I have Waldheim lined up. The tactical situation is that we will be the only one with a proposal on the table. It will not be rejected and will not be voted on. By tomorrow they all will be begging for it.

[Omitted here is material unrelated to the Middle East.]

[K:] Mansfield and Scott called and the Senate is going to pass a resolution applauding your action up to now and urging us to have a ceasefire and a return to the previous positions which is our position.4 The reason this is good for us is if we have to turn on the Israelis and turn them back we will have all of the Israeli supporters lined up.

N: They will not know what has hit them. That is good. Fine. Fine.

K: Right Mr. President.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Transcripts (Telcons), Chronological File, Box 22. No classification marking.
  2. Telegram 3742 from USUN, October 9, contains a report on the October 8 UN Security Council session on the Middle East, which convened shortly after 6 p.m. that day. Scali’s statement at the session is in telegram 3744, October 9. The Syrian statement is in telegram 3711, the Egyptian statement is in telegram 3714, and the Soviet statement is in telegram 3759, all October 9. (All in National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files) For a detailed account of the session, see Yearbook of the United Nations, 1973, pp. 194–196.
  3. Kissinger spoke to Zayyat at 1:45 p.m. and to Eban at 2:40 p.m. Kissinger told Eban that the Egyptians had agreed not to speak before the Security Council if Eban did not. Kissinger said the U.S. principle was that “the Governments should set a ceasefire.” He went on to say that ultimately “the Governments should return to the original positions.” (Both in National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Transcripts (Telcons), Chronological File, Box 22) Printed in Kissinger, Crisis, pp. 130–131.
  4. On October 8, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution sponsored by Senators Mike Mansfield and Hugh Scott that called for a cease-fire in the Middle East and the return of Arab and Israeli forces to the positions they occupied before the outbreak of hostilities on October 6.