22. Telegram From the Department of State to the U.S. Interests Section in Syria1
24425. Subject: Message to President Assad re Secretary’s Talks With Soviets.
1. You should convey following oral message from the Secretary to President Assad in most expeditious way possible:[Page 111]
2. Secretary wants to inform President Assad of his discussions with the Soviets about the Middle East during Gromyko’s visit to Washington.2 Main point Soviets made was that in future all our Middle East diplomatic activities should be carried out on a joint U.S.-Soviet basis and that modalities should be joint. They also want all activities to be carried out in Geneva and to have U.S. and Soviet participation in all Geneva meetings between the parties. We have for the moment simply said that we agree in principle that we and Soviets should coordinate our efforts, because Secretary first wanted to get President Assad’s views. He would appreciate any suggestions President may have as to whether U.S.-Soviet coordination is desirable and how U.S.-Soviet coordination might work in practice, particularly as regards efforts to achieve Syrian-Israeli disengagement. Meanwhile, Secretary wants President Assad to know that he has not revealed to Soviets any of the matters discussed in confidence between President and himself and to express hope that President Assad will keep him informed of anything he might tell Soviets about these matters so that no misunderstandings arise. Secretary would appreciate receiving President Assad’s views with regard to these matters.3
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1181, Harold H. Saunders Files, Middle East Peace Negotiations, February 1–8, 1974. Secret; Cherokee; Nodis; Niact Immediate. Drafted by Atherton; approved by Kissinger.↩
- Documentation on Gromyko’s visit is printed in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XV, Soviet Union, June 1972–August 1974.↩
- Telegram 57 from Damascus, February 9, 1710Z, transmitted President Asad’sreply that Syria had “no objection to a U.S./Soviet coordination.” Asad concluded by stating that Syria lacked “the data which may enable us to suggest a practical plan for such co-ordination.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1181, Harold H. Saunders Files, Middle East Peace Negotiations, February 9–15, 1974)↩