3. Paper Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency1

SECRET HIGH-LEVEL TALKS BETWEEN THE EGYPTIAN AND UNITED STATES GOVERNMENTS CONCERNING PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Summary: The holding of secret talks between the Egyptian and U.S. Governments at the level of the offices of the presidencies was first suggested informally in April 1972 [less than 1 line not declassified] in Cairo. Dr. Kissinger’s initial reaction was favorable, but President Sadat then demurred. In July Dr. Kissinger renewed the proposal, and in September President Sadat accepted. It was agreed that these exploratory talks would be held in the U.S., in strict secrecy, for the purpose of determining what useful role the USG could play in implementing UN Resolution 242.2 In October a four-man Egyptian delegation was named, and both sides hoped to get talks started by the end of October. Complications in the Vietnam negotiations then intruded to cause unexpected and protracted delay. The Egyptians have shown patience and understanding of the other demands on Dr. Kissinger, while repeatedly restating their interest in moving forward on the talks as soon[Page 5] as possible. The Egyptians in the meantime have requested a change of venue from the U.S. to Europe and have said they want to issue a public statement at the conclusion of the first round of talks. Dr. Kissinger has not yet responded on these two points. He has assured the Egyptian Government that after settlement of the Vietnam war, the USG will give the highest priority to the Middle East problem, and has invited the Egyptian Government in the interim to submit, [less than 1 line not declassified], any preliminary views it may wish to offer relative to the talks.3 [2 lines not declassified]

[Omitted here is the body of the paper.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 131, Country Files, Middle East, Egypt/Ismail, Vol. II, January 1–February 23, 1973. Secret; Sensitive. The paper was forwarded to Kissinger under cover of a January 16 memorandum from Helms who wrote that the enclosed résumé of the proposal to conduct secret talks between the United States and Egypt at the level of the offices of the presidencies as well as a more detailed chronological summary of the exchanges between the two governments might prove useful.
  2. UN Security Resolution 242, adopted November 22, 1967, called for Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied during the 1967 war and “acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence of every state in the area.”
  3. On January 15, Kissinger received a message from Ismail suggesting that the proposed first round of talks take place in London during the month of February. (Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Scowcroft Daily Work Files, Jan. 11–16, 1973, Box 1)