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

K: I wanted to let you know, these Arabs are floating on air, they say you are a great man and that you spoke to them2 with a sincerity they knew you would, then we went into a lot of detail on how to do it, assurances they would do it. I think we are going to get it, a cease fire within three or four days.

N: Main thing is Sadat said, the press, here’s the guy who could cut off the oil for all of the world . . . very constructive.

K: I also talked to Joe Sisco. He also said when traveling with Rogers, he never knew what he was talking about . . . with you you always know what you’re talking about.

N: Well . . . I thought it went well.

K: Thought it was spectacular.

N: That’s good.

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K: Just saw telegram from El-Zayyat, got the Arabs, quite important. Had a big argument with the Algerian, how can we be sure we can believe the President. I told him, look here, for years I told him the President was harassed. They wanted to know were we willing to bring pressure on Thieu. Let the other side make a proposal and we will see whether we will bring pressure. I am not drawing a parallel, but you can figure out for yourself.

N: Well, I left a lot of things . . . but I said I wanted to visit their countries, loved all of them, which was true.

K: Mr. President, I think it was a most successful morning. What’s more important, they were happy . . . very successful morning.

N: Now, on to the Russians. When do you expect to hear from Kosygin.

K: We’ve got long message from Brezhnev,3 now in itself doesn’t say anything, he skirts the issue . . . matters have not reached the point of no return and in détente . . . we will hear from them by tomorrow night.

N: Meantime, you might pick up Senator Mansfield’s brilliant suggestion.4

K: Mr. President, when have they not failed us.

N: Really something.

K: When have they ever stood behind the President?

N: No, but come up with a cockeyed scheme of going to the United Nations, having a six power conference . . .

K: Never support what we are doing.

N: This meeting with the Arabs just about killed the damn press people. They expected all hell to blow up.

K: Of course.

N: There was a huge number out there today.

K: Well, trotted out the poor Foreign Ministers.

N: At a time when we are supplying Israel.

K: At a time when American planes are landing in Tel Aviv every half an hour. People take everything for granted, no minor feat.

N: Anything doing with battle?

K: Seems to be a tank battle going on. . . .

N: I think it’s a stalemate, I really do.

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K: I do too.

N: Both sides sort of bled.

K: I suppose the Israelis can barely win, but not at any price that’s worthwhile.

N: OK, have a good rest.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Transcripts (Telcons), Chronological File, Box 23. No classification marking.
  2. See Document 195.
  3. Document 194.
  4. On October 16, Senator Mike Mansfield called on President Nixon to take the lead in convening a six-nation summit conference—the United States, the United Kingdom, France, West Germany, the Soviet Union, and Japan—to end the war in the Middle East.