[Page 488]

175. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Kissinger and the Soviet Ambassador (Dobrynin)1

K: Anatoly, I have just heard from the British and they do not feel they can proceed.2 They were told by Sadat 1) he did not want a resolution and 2) if such a resolution were put in he would call the Chinese to veto it. He would consider any . . .

That leaves two possibilities. Either you tricked us—

D. It was always easy to check with us. After all it was very clear . . . all the day before yesterday when our answer came. It was very easy to be approved two days ago when we came to the General Assembly but . . .

K. First we have to get somebody to put it in.

D. I understand that. If it came to the floor we would abstain.

K. I don’t doubt that you would abstain. What is the sense of such a maneuver if you thought the Egyptians wouldn’t accept it. You engaged in our discussions with the Israelis . . . At any rate the British won’t introduce it and you don’t want the Australians to introduce it.

D. . . . give our instruction. I am now waiting for instructions . . .

K. We are not going to do anything. We are now going to wash our hands of it and let nature take its course.

D. I will be in touch.

K. I was until an hour ago operating under the instructions . . . and I interpreted your airlift as a show of good will to the Egyptians . . . It looks as if you want this war to continue and let us go through three days of meetings with the Israelis and British in the meantime.

D. Before then how could we know that the British would wait to give a firm decision. I am sure that the British would tell you we were not in touch with them at all.

K. You might have known what Sadat would do . . .

D. I am just telling you that it is a very wrong assumption.

[Page 489]

K. We operated on the assumption when you told us you had discussed with Egypt that they would accept it. There is no reason . . .

D. At this very moment . . . would held under the pressure so to speak.

K. Now when they say they are going to ask the Chinese to veto . . .

D. Maybe Sadat changed his mind and . . .

K. And they told the British they had said the same thing to you. That is . . .

D. No.

K. To gain time.

D. For whom, for them?

K. That’s right.

D. For Israel to . . . the Syrians. It was a very interesting presumption.

K. There is no sense discussing it.

D. I was waiting for the reply. What they wanted to tell us.

K. Of course now we have to look at your airlift as a continuing thing and consider the possibility that we will be . . .

D. Let us wait. Maybe in an hour or two. You . . .

K. You might as well tell Moscow that nothing is going to happen today.

D. Will you call me when you have something?

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Transcripts (Telcons), Chronological File, Box 23. No classification marking.
  2. In a 3:35 p.m. telephone conversation, Foreign Secretary Douglas-Home told Kissinger that he had repeatedly discussed Kissinger’s suggestion for a cease-fire resolution with the Prime Minister and that the U.K. Government “did not think the time was right for this initiative.” In their view, the Soviets would have no chance of forcing Sadat to accept a simple cease-fire resolution. In fact, Douglas-Home believed that Sadat would “reject it vehemently.” Douglas-Home added that he had also told the Soviets this. (Ibid.) Printed in Kissinger, Crisis, pp. 232–234.