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

K: Hello.

D: Henry, we have the following message from Brezhnev to President Nixon.

Mr. President:

We have precise information that the Israeli troops are attacking now with tanks and military ships on Egyptian forces on the western part of the Suez Canal. They are trying to capture this port by violating the UN Security Council decision on the Middle East ceasefire. At the same time Israel’s military forces are attacking on the Eastern part of the Suez Canal and again Egyptian troops to the south of the Canal. These violent actions of the Israelis were taken only a few hours after the Security Council once again confirmed their decision on a mutual ceasefire and after your very firm statement made to us that the United States would take the full responsibility to assure the full ceasefire from the part of Israel.

Mr. President, we are sure that you have responsibility to make clear to Israel that the troops should immediately stop their actions of provocation. We would like to hope that you and we would be loyal to [Page 710]our words which were given to each other and to the agreement we have reached with you. We would very much appreciate your message about the steps which are taken by you in order to insure that Israel will obey the second Security Council decision. Respectfully,

K: Thank you, Anatol. Now we will send you a message within a couple of hours on the substance2 but you can already tell him the following: We have told the Israelis that a continuation of these operations will mean a total reevaluation of our relations including supplies. Secondly, we have demanded that they stop the action. Thirdly, we have demanded that our own observers see that they are not on offensive operations until the UN is in the . Fourthly, the President has personally called, in the last five minutes, the Israeli ambassador and has made the same point to him.3

D: OK.

K: Now could you transmit this to Brezhnev and tell him that the spirit whichus over the weekend continues and we are not in a game of escorting five mile advantages which mean nothing to you or us.

D: Yes, this is exactly true. OK, Henry.

K: Thank you.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Transcripts (Telcons), Anatoli[y] Dobrynin File, Box 28. No classification marking. The blank underscores indicate omissions in the original.
  2. The message from Nixon to Brezhnev, October 24, was delivered to the Soviet Embassy at 1 p.m. (Ibid., NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 59, Country Files, Europe, USSR, Dobrynin/Kissinger, Vol. 20)
  3. Kissinger wrote in his memoirs that he needed to impress on Israel the gravity of the crisis. He noted that whenever he needed to enhance a message or avoid a personal confrontation with the Israeli Cabinet, he would ask Haig to call Dinitz on behalf of Nixon. He had done so on this occasion, and Haig had demanded an end to offensive Israeli military operations. (Years of Upheaval, p. 578)