203. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and Secretary of State Kissinger1
K. Hello Mr. President. I just wanted to tell you we have had a preliminary message from the Russians.2 They are moving in our direction but are not quite there yet.
N. I see.
K. It is from Brezhnev. It is their preliminary observations. Kosygin hasn’t left Cairo yet. They are moving definitely towards the position you outlined yesterday. We have to stay very cool and not let on to anyone.
N. Yes, we don’t want . . .
K. I have the impression the Israelis may be doing very well in the tank battle. They don’t tell us.
N. That will move the Russians.
K. I think—well we shouldn’t count our chickens but I think you have pulled it off again.
N. That is good news.
K. It will take us another 48–72 hours. I’m sending, on your behalf, Brezhnev a response to his message yesterday3 which says nothing except you are holding things together here and want to . . . and that a constructive outcome is highly desirable.
N. Just assure him we are prepared to follow through. We don’t want them to think we’ll get in cement . . . Thank you.