386. Memorandum from Secretary of State Kissinger to President Nixon1


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Situation in the Middle East: Israeli Foreign Minister Eban has stated that the Israeli Government has decided not to take part in the peace [Page 1053]conference with Syria until the latter submits a list of Israeli prisoners, allows Red Cross representatives to visit them, and treats them in accordance with the Geneva Convention.2

UN sources report that the Syrian Ministry of Planning has been put on a “war basis” and that all other ministries and schools have been alerted to go on a war footing as soon as instructed. The Syrian Government apparently took similar measures in the week prior to the attack on October 6.

For the second straight day, Syrian and Israeli forces exchanged fire on the Golan front. The Syrians claimed to have inflicted about a dozen casualties and to have destroyed several pieces of engineering equipment that were being used to improve advanced Israeli positions in the area.

[Omitted here is material unrelated to the Middle East.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 56, President’s Daily Briefing, 16 November–31 December, 1973, President’s Daily Briefs, December 1–December 15, 1973. Top Secret; Sensitive; Contains Codeword. Scowcroft initialed for Kissinger. A stamped notation on the memorandum reads: “The President has seen.”
  2. A handwritten notation by Nixon in the margin reads: “K—tell Eban et al—if this demand on their part brings on another war they go it alone.”