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Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976, Volume XXVI, Arab-Israeli Dispute, 1974–1976

Adam M. Howard
General Editor:
Edward C. Keefer

United States Government Printing Office

Department of State
Office of the Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs


The focus of this volume is the negotiations leading to the two disengagement agreements between Egypt and Israel and the one disengagement agreement between Syria and Israel. The end of the October 1973 War left the Egyptian and Israeli armies interlocked in the Sinai and Israeli and Syrian armies interlocked in the Golan Heights. This provided Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who had taken the lead role in negotiations concerning the Arab-Israeli dispute after the October 1973 War, the opportunity to negotiate landmark agreements between Israel and two of its Arab neighbors in the months following the war. Initial discussions between Kissinger and Arab leaders began in November 1973 (coverage of this is found in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume XXV, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War, 1973) and culminated in formal disengagement agreements beginning in 1974. Kissinger preferred these disengagement agreements instead of a comprehensive agreement as a way to create a relationship between the Israelis and Egyptians and Syrians that could lead to a future comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli dispute. Additionally, he argued that this more modest step-by-step approach would prevent individual crises, such as terrorist attacks, to sidetrack negotiations. Accordingly, this volume documents the development of this step-by-step approach beginning with the first disengagement agreement between the Israelis and Egyptians in January 1974, the only disengagement agreement between the Israelis and Syrians in May 1974, and the second disengagement agreement between the Israelis and Egyptians in September 1975.

This volume also documents the U.S. response to the outbreak of civil war in Lebanon. This final chapter begins with the U.S. Government’s observation of the war in the fall of 1975, but focuses primarily on the period after the disintegration of the Lebanese army in March 1976, followed by the evacuation of U.S. embassy personnel, and concludes in August 1976 with a strategy session between Kissinger and U.S. ambassadors to the Middle East.