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

As you know from my previous messages, I have been in urgent contact with the Israeli Government about the situation of the Egyptian Third Army. I have just received the following message from the Israeli Prime Minister:

“We are prepared immediately to enter into discussions with the Egyptians on how to solve this situation. The Egyptians should suggest the place, time, and rank of their representative. We are prepared to send the chief of staff, the minister of defense, or any other general or other representative for the discussion. We believe we have something to offer to them—something which is neither surrender nor humiliation, but an honorable way out of the situation. All the Egyptians have to do is suggest the time, place, and rank of their representative.”

We are passing on this message as intermediary not as a recommendation. For its part, the US will use all its influence to produce an honorable solution to this problem.

  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. No classification marking. A handwritten note on the message states that it was received at 8:12 p.m. on October 26. According to Kissinger’s memoirs, it was sent at 7:55 p.m. (Years of Upheaval, p. 605)