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291. Backchannel Message From the Egyptian Presidential Adviser for National Security Affairs (Ismail) to Secretary of State Kissinger1

[Omitted here is material unrelated to the October 1973 War.]

I have received your message of October 27.2 I wish to inform you of the position of the Egyptian Government with respect to the Israeli proposals conveyed to us by you.

1. The Egyptian Government is prepared to dispatch a representative of the Egyptian Armed Forces of the rank of major general to come in contact with an Israeli military representative of the same rank. It is understood that each will be accompanied by the adequate number of assistants. They would meet under United Nations supervision by 1500 hours Cairo local time at the kilometer 110 of the Cairo–Suez road. Their meeting place would be put under supervision of the United Nations peacekeeping force.

2. The object of that meeting would be to discuss the military aspects of the implementation of Security Council Resolutions 338 and 339 of October 22 and 23, 1973.

3. We expect a complete cease fire to be effective as of 1300 hours local time October 27, 1973. United Nations observers should be in place in time to supervise this.

4. A convoy carrying non-military supplies for Suez and formations of the Third Army east of the canal should be allowed to have reached its destination by 1500 local time under United Nations and Red Cross supervision.3

If such arrangements are acceptable, it is expected that a prompt reply will be received in time to allow for the necessary measures to be taken.

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We expect the exercise of United States influence to facilitate the development of these talks.4

  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 was received in the White House Situation Room at 3:07 a.m. on October 27.
  2. Reference is presumably to Document 286.
  3. The Department of State’s Middle East Task Force Situation Report #68 as of 6 a.m. EDT, October 27, stated that the Third Army’s October 26 attempts to break out of its encircled position apparently had failed, and warned that if it were not supplied with food and water soon, a complete breakdown of the cease-fire could result. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1176, Harold H. Saunders Files, Middle East Negotiations File, 1973 Middle East War, 27 October 1973, File No. 22) In telegram 8673 from Tel Aviv, October 27, 1047Z, Keating warned that the fate of the Third Army appeared central to U.S. hopes of creating a stable cease-fire in the south and its hopes of moving the parties to peace negotiations. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files)
  4. At 4:31 a.m., Kissinger sent the following reply: “Your message with our own strong endorsement has been passed to the Israelis on a most urgent basis. A reply should be received within a few hours and we will pass immediately to you.” (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 132, Country Files, Middle East, Egypt/Ismail, Vol. VII, October 1–31, 1973)