385. Telegram From the U.S. Interests Section in Cairo to the Department of State1

3933. Subject: Vinogradov’s Draft Letter to SYG Based on Egyptian/Syrian Principles. Ref: Cairo 3932.2

1. Following my return to USINT after meeting with Fahmy, Vinogradov called to say he had prepared a revised draft letter to SYG based on “principles” enunciated by Fahmy and wanted us to submit it to our governments as a joint draft. He would send over Soviet Embassy officer with text. I reminded Vinogradov that Fahmy had specifically stated he had a series of “principles” in mind and that language based on these principles could be worked out by our governments. While I could not therefore endorse any specific text, I was willing to review his draft to ascertain whether it was consistent with my understanding of Fahmy’s “principles.”

2. Vinogradov’s draft revision reads as follows:

[Page 1051]

“Dear Mr. Secretary General:

“On October 22, 1973, the Security Council adopted Resolution 338 and 339,3 jointly sponsored by the Soviet Union and the United States which calls for negotiations to start between the parties concerned under appropriate auspices, aimed at establishing a just and durable peace in the Middle East. The Soviet Union and the United States have now been informed by the parties concerned of their readiness to participate in the peace conference. The conference should be convened under the auspices of the United Nations.

“It is our understanding that Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Syria have agreed to participate from the outset in the conference which would begin in Geneva on December 18. The parties have agreed that the conference should be under the co-chairmanship of the Soviet Union and the United States. The parties have also agreed that the question of the participation of the Palestinians and Lebanon will be discussed during the first stage of the conference.

“It is our hope that you will find it possible to participate in the opening phase of the conference at which it is expected that the governments concerned will be represented by their respective Foreign Ministers and later by their specially appointed representatives with Ambassadorial rank. We also hope that you can make available a representative who would keep you fully informed as the conference proceeds. Finally, we would also appreciate it if the United Nations could make appropriate arrangements for the necessary conference facilities.

“If as we hope you find it possible to participate, as co-chairmen the Soviet Union and the U.S. would appreciate it if you would agree to serve as convener of the conference and preside in the opening phase.

“We request that you circulate this letter to members of the Security Council for their information. We believe it would be appropriate for the President of the Security Council to consult informally with the membership with a view to securing a favorable consensus of the Council.”

3. I sent word to Vinogradov that I would submit his text to the Secretary and Washington, as he had requested, with an indication that it is consistent with my understanding of Fahmy’s principles. I could [Page 1052]not, however, endorse any particular text since my government would have to make final determination.4

4. Comment: With exception of separate sentence on “under UN auspices” at end of first para and a new reference to UN Res 339 in that same para, text is that of our withdrawn third draft.5

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 639, Country Files, Middle East, Arab Republic of Egypt, Vol. X, Nov.–Dec. 31, 1973. Secret; Immediate; Nodis; Cherokee. Also sent Immediate to USNATO for Secretary Kissinger.
  2. Telegram 3932 from Cairo, December 11, contained the account of Eilts’s meeting with Fahmi and Vinogradov. (Ibid.)
  3. In telegram 3939 from Cairo, December 12, Eilts reported that Vinogradov had just telephoned to say that he had shown his new draft to Fahmi and asked if it accurately incorporated his “principles,” to which the Foreign Minister replied that it did. Vinogradov said that he had emphasized that this was his own personal attempt to formulate acceptable language, and was not official. He also had asked Fahmi about inclusion of a reference to UN Security Council Resolution 339, which had not been in any of the earlier drafts. The Foreign Minister said someone had told him to include it, but he could not remember who. He then agreed that there was no need to include a reference to the resolution in the draft letter. (Ibid.)
  4. In telegram Hakto 10 from Brussels, December 12, Kissinger instructed Scowcroft to give the text of the draft in telegram 3933 to Dobrynin immediately and tell him that the United States was seeking immediate approval from Israel. He should also give Dinitz the text as soon as possible, stressing several points. First, the letter did not state that the conference would be under “UN auspices” but rather that it would be “convened under UN auspices.” There would be no substantive role for the Secretary General. Second, the Security Council would be consulted informally. Third, the United States had successfully fought to delete the phrase on the “timing” of Palestinian participation. This formulation was neutral and left the matter open. Finally, he should urge Israel not to make the Syrian-Israeli POW issue a precondition of its participation in the conference. (Ibid., Kissinger Office Files, Box 42, Kissinger Trip Files, HAK Trip, Europe & Mideast, HAKTO 1–88, Dec. 8–22, 1973)
  5. In telegram Secto 51 to Cairo, December 12, Kissinger stated that the United States was informing Dobrynin that the text in telegram 3933 corresponded with the U.S. understanding of what their two countries had agreed upon, based upon the Egyptian and Syrian “principles.” Dobrynin would be asked to confirm the text with Moscow. The text would also be given to Dinitz for Israeli agreement, to King Hussein, and to Waldheim. The Secretary instructed Eilts to tell Vinogradov and Fahmi that he was consulting with Moscow and with Israel regarding the text. (Ibid., Box 1179, Harold H. Saunders Files, Middle East Negotiations Files, Middle East—1973 Peace Negotiations, December 6, 1973 thru Dec. 12, 1973, [1 of 3])