[Page 615]

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

D: Yes.

K: Anatol, I have had a preliminary talk with the President and we agree in principle to a high level contact.2

D: Yes.

K: And you give me your quick reaction, why should Gromyko not come over here?

D: Because I think my reaction is because Kosygin is back from there so they would like to discuss, I guess, the three of them. Brezhnev, Kosygin and Gromyko.

K: I see.

D: This is really the idea—not to send a telegram telling what was said by Sadat or what was said back and forth. They would like you for one day to come there and then I am sure Kosygin will [brief?] everybody. This is my real impression why they are asking this one because he is fresh so to speak in what he was thinking and they could discuss with you.

K: Will you come back there with me?

D: Yes, if you don’t mind I would like to go both ways.

K: With me?

D: Yes.

K: Well, as long as you sit in the front compartment.

D: (Laughter) All right. I would rather be in the tail but nevertheless.

K: Now what are we going to do about navigators and so forth?

D: There is no problem. We will give you a navigator and we will take care about this.

K: Well all right. I will call you back—oh, what is it now, a quarter to 12:00?

D: Yeah.

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K: No later than two.

D: No later than two. Okay.

K: We are very sympathetic to the proposal.

D: I think this is really important, Henry.

K: Anatol, when the Soviet Government makes such a proposal on the basis of urgency it is not a matter we take lightly.

D: Yes. And leave tomorrow because they really feel it is urgent.

K: Well they want me to arrive—well I can’t leave now until about midnight tonight.

D: No, I understand. So you will arrive tomorrow but . . .

K: I will arrive tomorrow but—I will arrive tomorrow night and we could talk Sunday.3

D: Sunday, yes.

K: You know I would like to get a few hours sleep before your three men starting working me over.

D: (Laughter) Oh you are a beautiful fellow. Yuri saw it in Moscow.

K: One night please I think I am entitled to.

D: No, because . . .

K: My present thinking is that I leave around midnight tonight.

D: As it was last time.

K: As it was when we went on the secret trip.4

D: I think it is right. So you will arrive approximately around in the evening.

K: Around 8:00 or 9:00.

D: Yes and then you go to bed and fresh in the morning on Sunday—you will be as fresh as you usually are.

K: That’s right. Just tell Antanov not to offer me his diversions because I need a night’s sleep.

D: Okay. He will do it afterwards.

K: Okay.

D: Then we will wait a call . . .

K: It is not yet approved.

D: No, no, I will not say anything until you finally say to me okay.

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K: Okay, fine.

D: Bye.5

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Transcripts (Telcons), Anatoli[y] Dobrynin File, Box 28. No classification marking.
  2. According to the President’s Daily Diary, Kissinger and Nixon met from 11:24 to 11:32 a.m. (Ibid., White House Central Files) No other record of the discussion has been found.
  3. October 21.
  4. Kissinger is referring to his trip to Moscow in April 1972. For the records of Kissinger’s meeting, see Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XIV, Soviet Union, October 1971–May 1972.
  5. Kissinger wrote in his memoirs that the Soviet invitation “solved most of our problems. It would keep the issue out of the United Nations until we had shaped an acceptable outcome. It would discourage Soviet bluster while I was in transit and negotiating. It would gain at least another seventy-two hours for military pressures to build. Nixon and I talked in this vein together with Haig and Scowcroft. We concluded that a trip to Moscow would advance our strategy.” (Years of Upheaval, p. 542)