151. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) to President Ford1

Secretary Kissinger asked me to pass the following message to you:

“I completed a two-hour meeting this morning with President Sadat2 at which he presented me with further Egyptian modifications of their position in order to make a final try with the Israelis. I will now meet with the Israelis this evening underscoring that Sadat, in my judgment, has carried the political concessions, in return for withdrawal, as far as he is able.

“He has committed himself to refrain from the use of force which every man in the street will interpret more or less synonymously as no different than a non-belligerency pledge. He has agreed to renew the UN force mandate annually and has given us a formula which, for all practical purposes, amounts to an indefinite commitment. He has linked the agreement to no other agreement, and therefore, meets the point made by the Israelis that the agreement must stand on its own feet. And finally, by agreeing that the agreement will remain in effect until it is superseded by another agreement, it meets the key Israeli point that it is open-ended.

“The meeting was somber. Sadat said all of this more in sorrow than in anger, repeating often that he was very disappointed in the Israeli reaction, and underscoring that he has lost faith that Israel can be worked with as a peace partner in the future. Time and again, however, as I previously reported to you, he stressed that he would not permit failure of this agreement to affect our relations adversely. I believe this [Page 548] to be his intention, but henceforth events will dictate positions. And on a whole series of issues he will have to side with the radical Arabs. He had a number of laudatory things to say about you which I will wish to report to you personally upon my return.

“I deeply appreciate your prompt response to my message3 and the go ahead which you have given me in presenting our case strongly and firmly to the Israelis tonight.”

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Kissinger Reports on USSR, China, and Middle East, Box 3, March 7–March 22, 1975, Volume II (3), Kissinger’s Trip. Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Ford initialed the memorandum.
  2. A memorandum of conversation of the meeting between Sadat and Kissinger, which took place on March 18 in Aswan, is ibid. According to the annotated chronology of the March meetings, the meeting took place from 11:45 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. (Ibid., Volume 1.1 (1), Kissinger’s Trip)
  3. See Documents 149 and 150.