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

Secretary Kissinger asked that I pass you the following report:

“In the longest session of this shuttle—nine hours of unbroken negotiations with Rabin and his team2—we widened the area of agreement and I believe we have broken the back of all major hurdles, subject to further discussions with Sadat tomorrow.3 The prospects are good that this agreement can be initialed on Monday or Tuesday by the two sides and signed in Geneva about Wednesday.4

“We are tentatively planning on a simultaneous announcement by you, Rabin and Sadat, and I will be sending you a recommendation on timing as well as a suggested draft text which you might wish to make on the three major networks.

“Here is a current rundown on the productive results of today’s nine-hour session.

“A. A text of the agreement5 is now agreed with both Egypt and Israel except for one point—Israel’s insistence that reference to the right of the parties to self-defense under Article 51 of the Charter be eliminated. The Israelis feel this waters down the Sadat commitment not to [Page 824] resort to the use of force and resolve all issues by peaceful means. I will make a major effort with Sadat tomorrow in Alexandria to try to get him to drop it.

“B. We are in full agreement with Israel on the concept and the details of how the early warning system will work. We have an agreed text in the form of a U.S. proposal to which each side will send its acceptance. I expect to get Egypt’s final approval to the text tomorrow.

“C. We agreed on a text with the Israelis on an annex which will describe the guidelines and framework for the technical group which will meet in Geneva next week after the signing to work out the detailed implementation of the agreement. The implementation, of course, will be on a phased basis and we are trying to arrange it so that the Egyptian takeover of the oil fields comes in the first month or so after the signing and the passes are turned over within six months of the signing. Rabin has made it very clear that no implementation of the agreement can start without the prior approval of the Congress of the U.S. participation in the warning system in the passes. From here the reaction from the Congress seems to be of a mixed character; however, the Israelis are very anxious to make a major effort along with the Administration to assure overwhelming support of the American presence in the passes. I continue to share your previously expressed judgment that the Congress will support you on this matter.

“D. Finally, we made some progress in the area of bilateral assurances which the Israelis expect from us. I dug in strongly in resisting any far-reaching assurances which would tend to tie our hands politically and diplomatically in what we would expect to do in the future in the Middle East. Moreover, the Israelis have been pressing me to go beyond 2.1 billion on aid, but I have continued to maintain the line at this figure.

“E. I concluded the long negotiating session tonight with a meeting alone with Rabin, Peres and Allon at their request.6 It was somewhat of a hand-holding, hand-wringing sort of discussion which reflects the unsure leadership at the helm of this country. Rabin did a good job at the meetings today of deflecting numerous inane suggestions of both Peres and Allon. Each in his own way is ambivalent about the agreement, but each equally in his own way sees no better alternative. They seem to have a feel for the disastrous situation which would ensue if this present effort were to fail.”

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Kissinger Reports on USSR, China, and Middle East, Box 5, August 21–September 1, 1975, Volume III (5), Sinai Disengagement Agreement. Secret; Sensitive. Sent for information. A handwritten notation at the top of the first page reads, “Pres. has seen.”
  2. The memorandum of conversation of the meeting between the Israeli negotiating team and Kissinger, which took place on August 29 from 11:52 a.m. until 6:40 p.m., is ibid., Volume III (3), Sinai Disengagement Agreement. The final negotiations continued over the next three days. Memoranda of conversation of meetings between the Israeli negotiating team and Kissinger took place on August 30 into August 31 from 9 p.m. until 12:27 a.m. (ibid., Volume III (6), Sinai Disengagement Agreement), August 31 from 9:13 a.m. until 12:40 p.m. (ibid., Volume III (7), Sinai Disengagement Agreement), and August 31 into September 1 from 9:50 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. (ibid., Volume III (8), Sinai Disengagement Agreement).
  3. No memoranda of conversation with Sadat were found.
  4. September 1–3.
  5. Text of agreement is attached but not printed.
  6. No memorandum of conversation has been found.