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.[Page 574]
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.[Page 575]
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.
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Transcripts (Telcons), Chronological File, Box 23. No classification marking.↩
- See Document 195.↩
- Document 194.↩
- 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.↩