54. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) to President Nixon1

Dr. Kissinger has asked that the following report be passed to you:2

I had about eight hours with Brezhnev today in formal sessions, following several hours Sunday when we talked informally while he took me to his hunting preserve.

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

Soviets have also given me a new paper on the Middle East which does not however materially go beyond existing Arab positions.3 Brezhnev has several times stressed his concern that conflict may break out before, during or shortly after his visit. He says that he can exert effective influence on Arabs only if latter see hope of a settlement. I have stressed the need to get away from abstractions and maximum positions and our readiness to play role in realistic negotiations, including our willingness to exert influence on Israelis in that case. I suggested [Page 166]leaving further US–Soviet exchanges until my next meeting with Ismail next week.4

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

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 32, Kissinger Trip Files, HAK Moscow, London Trip, HAKTO & Misc., May 4–11, 1973. Secret; Eyes Only. Sent for information.
  2. The report was transmitted to Scowcroft in telegram Hakto 19A from Moscow, May 8. (Ibid.)
  3. See footnote 4, Document 53.
  4. During his afternoon conversation with the General Secretary on May 8, Kissinger told Brezhnev: “When my trip to the Soviet Union was being planned, a detailed discussion of the Middle East was not foreseen. It was only the night before I left, when the President had already left, that I learned the General Secretary’s desire to discuss the subject in detail. And I myself was leaving in four hours. We share the General Secretary’s concern that there must not be an outbreak of war either before or after his visit to the United States, and we will cooperate seriously in that effort. I will go over the principles with the Foreign Minister, and then I will meet with Mr. Ismail, and after that we should see if we can develop a concrete procedure that gets the process started.” (Memorandum of conversation, 2:10–4:20 p.m., May 8; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 75, Country Files, Europe, USSR, Kissinger Conversations at Zavidovo, May 5–8, 1973)