213. 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

Kissinger: This is the old map.2 Sadat accepts this line but wants it out of the passes. It still leaves them the high ground. Here you must be as ruthless as necessary.

[Page 795]

President: You mean off the crests?

Kissinger: No, only in the passes themselves.

He accepts the north line but wants a few hundred yards on the curve.

South of the passes he accepts whatever line we can get him. He accepts the whole coast road provided his people don’t have to go through Israeli checkpoints. But I am going to block off the two stretches as UN or something so the line is continuous.

Rabin’s actions make it look like Israeli-U.S. collusion, which will drive the Egyptians wild. Sadat says he needs a token two kilometers past the UN line. They want two stations in the north. They will give them Umm Khisheiba if we supervise it. They won’t let Israel man the south station but they will let the U.S. or UN do it. In the next round I will say that Egypt wants all the stations American and that they rejected all six stations. We could get two stations in the Giddi under the guise of checking access to Umm Khisheiba.

Basically this negotiation is done unless Rabin is setting us up for a fall. Here is his letter.3 I think we should go back to him and say we won’t pursue the matter further; that the European briefings contradict what he says, and that the President promised they would get out of the passes.

I would propose leaving the 18th or 19th, and hope to wrap it up by the 28th or 29th.

We couldn’t have done it without you either.

President: We couldn’t have done it without your strategy. No one else could have done it.

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

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, Box 14, August 4, 1975, Ford, Kissinger. Secret; Nodis. The meeting was held in the Oval Office at the White House.
  2. Map is not attached.
  3. In the letter, Rabin denied American accusations that Israel had made approaches to European governments requesting their involvement in the negotiations with Egypt. (Telegram 4957 fronm Tel Aviv, August 1; National Archives, RG 59, Central Policy Files P850012–1775)