419. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Kissinger and Egyptian Foreign Minister Fahmi1
K: Everything is going along fine.
F: How is your health?
K: I am much improved.
F: Tell me I have good news.
K: What is the news? You have good news? What is it?
F: The Syrians have accepted to send a military man to join the military committee.
K: I am not sure the Israelis will sit with him.
F: Why not? He will be in our delegation.
K: He will be part of your delegation?
F: He will be part of our delegation. This is a good step. If you can work on the Israelis and let me know. This is a good step to bring the Syrians to the conference.
K: Yes, but do we have to do it before the elections?
F: Why not?
K: They will never agree before the elections.
F: The next meeting is on Friday.2 When the Syrian man comes here I can convince him to come after the election.
K: That would be very desirable.
F: Can you do that tomorrow and let me know.
K: I will do my best. What would you discuss? Only Egyptian matters or Syrian matters . . . with Egyptians or with regard to Syrian . . .
F: Both of them.
K: They won’t do it without getting a prisoner list.
F: We will discuss later on. We have a unified command . . . good formula to get the Israelis out from under the umbrella . . .
K: If you can get them to provide a list then no problem.
F: Don’t make a condition. Let’s take one step at a time.[Page 1199]
K: I think the Israelis might agree to the Syrian if it doesn’t concern Syrian problems. They will not discuss Syrian problems.
F: They will if necessary.
K: If they get a prisoner list.
F: I will work on that but don’t make it a condition.
K: Not for me to do that but I can guarantee the Israelis will do that.
F: If I have the list in my hand, I can guarantee the Syrians can .
K: I will be in touch with you. The problem is we have had it all set and you are complicating it.
F: I am not. This is a big step. I want to get the Syrian letter out formally.
K: Let me get in touch with the Israelis and I will call you back.
F: Work hard on them, Henry; and get in touch with me direct. Not through your man here.
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Transcripts (Telcons), Chronological File, Box 24. No classification marking. Kissinger was in Washington; Fahmi was in Geneva. The blank underscore indicates an omission in the original.↩
- December 28.↩
- Kissinger spoke to Fahmi again at 4:50 p.m. and urged him not to raise the issue of a Syrian officer on the Egyptian delegation until next week: “Next week there is one chance in five, this week there is none.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Transcripts (Telcons), Chronological Files, Box 24)↩