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383. Backchannel Message From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) to Secretary of State Kissinger in Brussels1

Tohak 24/WH37511. I have passed the message in Hakto 4 to Dinitz.2 He said he would convey it to his government immediately.

He also provided me with comments from Tel Aviv on our conversation of yesterday regarding Fahmy’s demands on “UN auspices” and “timing.”3

(1) Regarding “auspices,” he said that Israel would not participate if the talks were held under UN auspices.

(2) On “timing,” Dinitz said that Israel asks for the original wording, “without prejudice to possible additional participants at a subsequent phase,” with the addition of the phrase, “with the unanimous consent of the parties.” He said Israel is not prepared to accept the language, “the question of the participation of the Palestinians and Lebanon,” and that formulation does not “seem acceptable to us” even with the addition of the phrase on unanimous consent. Nor, he said, can Israel accept the original language with the phrase on unanimity [Page 1049]contained in the U.S.–Israeli Memorandum of Understanding4 rather than in a public letter.

Warm regards.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 42, HAK Trip—Europe & Mideast, TOHAK 1–75, Dec. 8–22, 1973. Top Secret; Flash; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Sent to Eagleburger for Kissinger.
  2. In telegram Hakto 4, December 10, Kissinger, noting the latest Newsweek story that he had put pressure on Israel to delay the talks at KM 101, instructed Scowcroft to see Dinitz immediately and tell him that the Secretary would like a statement from the highest levels of the Israeli Government as to how it would be possible to conduct confidential discussions during his upcoming visit in light of the Newsweek story and to insist on an authoritative Israeli Government denial of the story immediately. (Ibid., HAK Trip—Europe & Mideast, HAKTO 1–88, Dec. 8–22, 1973) In telegram Tohak 45/WH37539, December 12, Scowcroft transmitted a message from Golda Meir that she was very sorry about the Newsweek article and would take every possible step to ensure the confidentiality of their talks. (Ibid., HAK Trip, Europe & Mideast, TOHAK 1–75, Dec. 8–22, 1973)
  3. In telegram Tohak 16/WH37498, December 9, Scowcroft informed Kissinger that he had discussed the draft letter to the Secretary General with Dinitz, who said that he had just learned that the passage in the original draft on future participation in the conference had been modified to include specific references to Palestinian and Lebanese participation. The Ambassador stated that his government was “absolutely and definitely” against a conference under UN auspices and would prefer restoration of the phrase “U.S.–Soviet auspices.” Dinitz also reiterated Israel’s absolute opposition to the “timing” phrase, and expressed thanks for U.S. support on this issue. He said Israel would prefer the wording in the original draft that did not mention Lebanon or the Palestinians by name plus the addition of a phrase requiring unanimity on future participation. (Ibid.)
  4. See Document 381.