236. Backchannel Message From Secretary of State Kissinger to the Egyptian Presidential Adviser for National Security Affairs (Ismail)1

Secretary Kissinger wishes to thank Mr. Ismail for his most recent two messages.2

As Mr. Ismail knows, Secretary Kissinger was able to obtain Israeli acceptance of a speedy ceasefire on conditions that would not give an advantage to either side.

Secretary Kissinger reaffirms the U.S. willingness to engage itself in the diplomatic process that should follow the ceasefire. However, providing U.S. auspices requires that the proper atmosphere be [Page 671]created. He believes it essential that the informal understanding regarding an immediate POW exchange which was envisaged in Moscow be implemented as rapidly as possible.

Secretary Kissinger thanks Mr. Ismail for his kindness in inviting him to visit Cairo. Unfortunately, the invitation was received only after the Secretary had left the area and was well enroute to London. However, now that the ceasefire has been achieved, he accepts with pleasure Mr. Ismail’s kind invitation to visit Cairo at an early date. He looks forward to fixing a mutually convenient time in the very near future, and to the continuation of exchanges with Mr. Ismail, using this channel.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 132, Country Files, Middle East, Egypt/Ismail, Vol. VII, October 1–31, 1973. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. The message is attached to a 4:31 p.m. note, October 22, by Scowcroft asking that it be transmitted as soon as possible.
  2. A message from Ismail to Kissinger was received in Cairo at 1200Z, 2 p.m. Cairo time, on October 22. In this, Ismail stated that the Egyptian Government understood the purpose of Kissinger’s visit to Israel and considered that it would serve the same purpose if Kissinger were to visit Cairo as well. (Ibid.) A subsequent message from Ismail to Kissinger sent at 1545Z, 5:45 p.m. Cairo time, stated that orders had been issued for a cease-fire in place at 1852 hours Cairo time and that these orders would be carried out if the other side respected the cease-fire. (Ibid.)