384. Memorandum From Secretary of State Kissinger to President Nixon1


  • President Sadat’s Reply to Your Letter

President Sadat, in the attached letter [Tab A]2 dated December 8, 1973, has replied to your letter of December 1 [Tab B].3 The tone of the letter is statesmanlike and generally positive. Its highlights are as follows:

—He agrees with you that there is a unique opportunity to bring peace with justice to the Middle East.

—The United States has a particular role to play in working for peace in the Middle East. He is pleased with your personal commitment to make a major effort.

—Egypt will explore all avenues that might lead to peace, and in this spirit has agreed to attend the Geneva peace conference on December 18, 1973.

—He expects an immediate demonstration at Geneva of good faith and intentions, as well as an early recognition of basic principles governing a peace settlement—in particular Israeli withdrawal from all ter[Page 1050]ritories occupied since June 1967 and the recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people.

—More concretely, he expresses hope that during the opening phase of the peace conference a major disengagement will promptly be effected.

—A US role in bringing about Israeli withdrawal would have an impact on US–Egyptian bilateral relations.

The main point of President Sadat’s letter seems to be that some progress must be made at an early point in order to create momentum for reaching a full peace agreement. In particular, Israel must agree to a major withdrawal as part of the disengagement of forces, and the US is expected to play a major role in bringing about such an agreement. As you know, we are trying to work toward such a disengagement at an early stage.

No reply to President Sadat’s letter is required at this time.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 132, Country Files, Middle East, Egypt, Vol. VIII, November 1–December 31, 1973. Secret; Nodis. Sent for information. A stamped note on the memorandum reads: “The President has seen.” Scowcroft initialed for Kissinger who was still in Brussels. All brackets are in the original.
  2. Attached, but not printed. The letter was transmitted in telegram 3864 from Cairo, December 8. (Ibid., NSC Files, Box 611, Country Files, Middle East, Israel, Vol. 13, Nov. 73–Dec. 73)
  3. See Document 369.