130. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • President Ford
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

[Omitted here is a brief discussion of unrelated matters.]

[Kissinger:] On my trip, we have pretty well reviewed the Egyptian-Israeli situation. If there is no progress, we will have to go to Geneva under the worst circumstances. Sadat will be lined up with the radicals, and probably even Faisal will be. Israel has to understand their specific terms are less important than continuation of this process—and they will have to take what they can get. But I will tell Sadat he must give all he can so as to not upset our domestic situation too badly.

President: Would the passes be demilitarized?

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Kissinger: I haven’t really thought that through because I haven’t talked to Sadat. On my first stop in Israel I will be very tame, so there will be no newspaper campaign while I am in Egypt. I will tell Rabin we are not ready to move ahead on aid if there is no progress.

President: Tell him cold.

Kissinger: He must know it is one thing to sneak things through Congress when we connive at it; it’s another to do it with Administration opposition. You can’t be willing to pay $3 billion for a stalemate.

President: What are you thinking about the oil fields?

Kissinger: They can be demilitarized, with Egypt running the oil fields. We may have to make some compensatory arrangement—and may have to pay for a new Israeli defense line.

President: That is O.K., but we won’t pay for a stalemate.

Kissinger: Nahum Goldmann is now attacking me. He wants a drastic settlement and a return to Geneva. What you have is a coalition of those who want rapid movement and those who want none.

President: How could we get a partial settlement at Geneva?

Kissinger: Impossible, except as stages toward a settlement which is already defined.

President: It will be interesting to see your meeting with Gromyko.2

Kissinger: Egypt wants to buy non-lethal equipment. It requires a Presidential Determination. I would recommend, for now, telling Sadat that we would sell a Presidential Determination for training only.

President: Could we do it as part of a settlement?

[Omitted here is discussion about Panama.]

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, Box 9, February 7, 1975, Ford, Kissinger. Secret; Nodis. The meeting was held in the Oval Office at the White House.
  2. Kissinger met with Gromyko in Geneva on February 17 after his Middle East shuttle.