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340. Paper by William B. Quandt and Harold H. Saunders of the National Security Council Staff1

PRESIDENT’S WEDNESDAY BRIEFING

For President

Dispute over Middle East Ceasefire: Disagreements continued yesterday between Israel and the UNEF commander over implementation of the six-point ceasefire agreement which specified that “Israeli checkpoints on the Cairo–Suez road will be replaced by UN checkpoints.” General Dayan met with UN commander Siilasvuo to discuss a UN checkpoint on the road established the previous day. Dayan threatened to use force to remove the UN troops if they did not withdraw and, after consulting with Secretary General Waldheim, Siilasvuo agreed to a temporary withdrawal in order to avoid a confrontation. Waldheim is reportedly angry, but is prepared for a compromise that would permit a joint UN and Israeli presence at the checkpoint.2

The Israelis are reportedly taking the position that the checkpoints will not be turned over to the UN until Egypt has agreed to a POW exchange. The prisoners issue has been discussed by the Egyptians and Israelis, and the Egyptians were reportedly prepared to turn over a POW list, but at the last moment yesterday disagreement surfaced over the means of exchanging prisoners and arrangements for resupply of the Third Army, and for the moment these issues are still unresolved.

Sources:

USUN 4698, 130356Z Nov. 19733

USUN 4708, 131804Z Nov. 19734

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1178, Harold H. Saunders Files, Middle East Negotiations Files, Middle East—1973 Peace Negotiations, Nov. 11, 1973 through Nov. 15, 1973 [1 of 2]. Secret. Submitted for inclusion in the President’s November 14 briefing.
  2. In telegram 9185 from Tel Aviv, November 13, Keating advised: “In brief, current negotiating process going on west of canal will be major factor in determining whether it is possible to have any meaningful Egyptian-Israeli peace negotiations. In this respect, process itself is important per se. In other words, a great deal more hangs in balance in connection with Israeli effort to deal directly with Egyptians than just speed with which this or that checkpoint is resolved, although this is also important.” (Ibid., RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files) Telegram 224318 to Tel Aviv, November 14, informed Keating that the Department agreed with his comments. It stated, however, that there was no evidence that UNEF Commander Siilavuso had an exaggerated notion of his proper role or that the United States needed to discuss this with UN headquarters. (Ibid.)
  3. Telegram 4698 from USUN, November 13; not printed. (Ibid.)
  4. Telegram 4708 from USUN, November 13, reported on UN Secretary General Waldheim’s concern over the situation on the Cairo–Suez road. (Ibid.)