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

Secretary Kissinger has sent you the following report on his August 25 meeting with Prime Minister Rabin:

“Immediately upon returning from Alexandria, I met for 2½ hours this evening to give the Israeli negotiating team a report on my talks today with President Sadat and Foreign Minister Fahmy.2 With only minor details to be cleared up, I believe we now have agreement on the map. With respect to the text of the agreement itself, while the Israelis want to study it overnight, their reaction to the language we worked out in Alexandria3—and in particular the inclusion of references to blockades and the passage of Israeli cargoes through the canal—indicates that the differences have been significantly narrowed.

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“I will meet again tomorrow morning with the Israeli negotiating team to get their considered reaction before returning to Alexandria tomorrow afternoon. There is still a great deal of work to do if we are to wrap up the agreement by the end of the week, and there are still possibilities that further hitches can develop although the prospects are clearly better as a result of the decisions taken by Sadat today which I have already reported to you.

“The next immediate tasks facing us are to work out the text of a trilateral agreement governing the stationing of U.S. civilian personnel at the monitoring stations in the vicinity of the Passes and of the bilateral U.S.-Israeli Memorandum of Understanding. We provided drafts of both of these in technical talks held by members of my staff with the Israelis in Jerusalem today4 while I was in Egypt, and they have promised us their reactions tomorrow. On the Memorandum of Understanding, as you know, the Israelis have been pressing for assurances with regard to economic and military assistance and oil supply as well as diplomatic and political support which in many instances go far beyond what we can or should give them. The draft we gave them cut back sharply on many of these assurances, and I expect some tough bargaining before we reach agreement on this document. They are also still seeking Egyptian political assurances through us which greatly exceed anything Sadat can realistically do, particularly since the Israelis leak virtually everything to the press, and here too there are still some difficult discussions ahead. I should have a better idea after tomorrow morning’s meeting about how time-consuming the remaining issues between the U.S. and the Israelis will be. A positive factor is that, now that the pace of negotiation has increased, both Egypt and Israel seem to be caught up in the momentum and feel it desirable to wind matters up as rapidly as possible.”

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Kissinger Reports on USSR, China, and Middle East, Box 4, August 21–September 1, 1975, Volume I (7), Sinai Disengagement Agreement. Secret; Sensitive. Sent for information.
  2. The memorandum of conversation of the meeting between the Israeli negotiating team and Kissinger, which took place on August 25 from 10:02 p.m. until 12:06 a.m. at the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem, is ibid., Volume I (6), Sinai Disengagement Agreement.
  3. See Document 220.
  4. No memoranda of conversation of these technical meetings have been found.