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[Page 738]

196. Memorandum of Conversation1

PARTICIPANTS

  • 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

Kissinger: I will be giving a speech in Atlanta tomorrow. Let me read you the part on the Middle East. [He reads it.]2

President: There is nothing wrong with that. It may be interpreted badly by them.

Kissinger: I think by the end of the year you will have the Jews moving heaven and earth to defeat you.

President: As long as I know what I am doing is right, I will take my chances.

Kissinger: They are unspeakable. They have now published their concessions—making it even less likely that Sadat will agree.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to the Arab-Israeli dispute.]

Kissinger: I will have an Israeli-Egyptian option paper. Whichever way you go, you may want a record that they have rejected your request for reconsideration. They have written us off. I never imagined they could ignore a Presidential phone call3—they never even acknowledged it. Now they are putting out their offer of a corrider [to Abu Rudeis] designed to show they have been forthcoming.

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President: When does Eilts see Sadat?

Kissinger: Later today. I would be astounded if Sadat accepted, because this will look like pressure on him. It might seriously affect Sadat’s perception of our ability—when Israel is totally dependent on us. Maybe give Dinitz a letter on Thursday.4 Then brief selected Congressmen on all aspects of the negotiations.

President: I think we would have to show them the maps and everything.

Kissinger: I disagree with Eilts about the road. To have an Israeli road within sight and rifle range of the Egyptian road, with the Egyptian road demilitarized and the Israel road not, and with the Egyptian road . . .

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to the Arab-Israeli dispute.]

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, Box 13, June 23, 1975, Ford, Kissinger. Secret; Nodis. The meeting took place in the White House. All brackets, with the exception of ones describing omitted material, are in the original. According to the President’s Daily Diary, the meeting took place from 9:05 until 9:28 a.m. (Ibid., Staff Secretary’s Office Files)
  2. Kissinger addressed the Southern Council on International and Public Affairs and the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. He remarked that the United States “can never lose sight of the fact that U.S. foreign policy must do its utmost to protect all its interests in the Middle East.” He also stated that the ultimate goal of the United States was “to find solutions that will take into account the territorial integrity and right to live in security and peace of all states and peoples in the area. To reach that goal will require concessions by all parties. We are determined to persevere in pursuit of what we consider the fundamental national interest of the United States—the security and economic well-being of our country, of our allies and above all of the peoples in the area that demand it.” (Washington Post, June 24, 1975, p. A1)
  3. Presumably a reference to the June 13 telephone conversation; see footnote 10, Document 187.
  4. June 26.