132. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) to President Ford1
Secretary Kissinger asked that I pass you the following report:
“I have just completed about nine hours of talks with President Sadat and Foreign Minister Fahmy,2 which I believe have achieved reasonably satisfactory results and which could set the stage for more decisive progress during my next mission to the Middle East in early March.
“During these talks we discussed not only the question of withdrawal of Israeli forces out of the strategic passes and the oil fields, but we explored possible quid pro quos which the Egyptians might give in return. The points discussed are so sensitive that I strongly prefer to brief you fully upon my return.
“My intention now is to give the Israelis only a general picture of what I found here in Cairo, pointing out to them that a number of ideas discussed were being given further study by the Egyptians. I want them to ponder awhile longer the situation they face, and I am concerned that if I discuss with them at this stage some of Sadat’s concrete ideas they will leak to the Israeli press. What we must avoid now is any sort of public disclosure. I suggest that you maintain the same public line which you have been expressing on the Middle East publicly in recent days. I think it would be best, for tactical reasons, that you not indicate that you have received hopeful reports from me, but rather that the White House limit itself to indicating, without characterizing the talks, that I am keeping you fully informed. In the remainder of my stops in the Middle East as well as in Europe, I intend to keep my discussions on the Middle East in very general terms.
“I found the atmosphere warm and friendly. The Egyptians are considerably more relaxed than the Israelis, and I have the impression that Sadat will try to do his best—within the limits of his own political situation in Egypt and in the Arab world—to meet some of the quid pro quos to which Israel attached importance. Foreign Minister Fahmy, while continuing to be most friendly, is approaching the matter somewhat more cautiously than President Sadat, who still seems able to take a broad view of the matter.[Page 509]
“I have committed myself to return to the area starting with Cairo on March 7. We will make a definite announcement of this at the conclusion of my visit here Thursday morning.”
- Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Trip Briefing Books of Henry Kissinger, Box 5, February 10–18, 1975, Middle East and Europe, HAK Messages for President, February 13, 1975. Secret; Sensitive. Sent for information. Ford initialed the memorandum.↩
- No memorandum of conversation has been found of either meeting.↩