3. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) to President Nixon1

Dr. Kissinger has sent you the following report on his conversations in Egypt and his initial talks in Israel.

“I met with President Sadat for two hours on Friday night and an additional four hours on Saturday.2 He asked that I convey to you his [Page 5] warm regards, and talked at length about his desire to normalize Egyptian-U.S. relations.

Sadat made it clear that he is anxious that an agreement on disengagement be accomplished within one week, and urged that I personally engage myself in developing an agreement that can be signed at kilometer 101, rather than sending the negotiations back to Geneva, with the inevitable delays that would entail.

“We had a long discussion on oil. Sadat told me that if a disengagement agreement can be reached this week he will use his personal influence—particularly with King Faisal and President Boumedienne—to see that the oil embargo is brought to an end shortly after agreement is reached. He also said that while it would be necessary publicly to maintain the fifteen percent production cut, he is prepared to see that total production is restored for the U.S. through the Bahrain refineries once we have a disengagement agreement. Thus, we would receive fifteen percent more oil than anyone else. He emphasized, however, that if any word of this concession should leak the Arabs will be forced to disavow it.

“On disengagement Sadat added little new on Egypt’s substantive position. He wants a detailed agreement, leaving as little to the military representatives to work out later as possible. He agreed to some form of undertaking (not yet specified) on free transit through the straits south of Israel, but is standing firm in opposition to agreeing to any limitations on the size of Egyptian forces on the eastern side of the Suez Canal.

“Following my talks with Sadat I flew to Jerusalem where I met briefly with Mrs. Meir3 (who is ill) and then had a long business dinner with Deputy Prime Minister Allon, Dayan, and Eban.4 I reported on Sadat’s views, and discussed in detail an Israeli plan for disengagement which Dayan had foreshadowed in his talks in Washington on Friday and Saturday of last week.5

“The Israelis find themselves ham-strung by the lack of a new government, but indicated they were prepared to sign an agreement this week if outstanding issues can be compromised—subject to ratification [Page 6] by their parliament (which they expect could be achieved without difficulty) when it meets next week.

“We meet again on Sunday,6 when we will continue discussions of the Israeli plan. At the moment I am hopeful that reasonable accommodations can be reached; the two most difficult outstanding areas seem to be:

—The distance eastward the Israelis will withdraw their forces. The Israelis want to keep their forces along a line just west of the mountain passes, and Sadat is talking about leaving Israel in control only of the eastern end of the passes.

—The number and character of Egyptian troops on the east side of the Canal. Sadat is talking about two divisions while Dayan is talking about two to three battalions.

“I will report to you Sunday evening on the outcome of the second round of talks with the Israelis. I plan to return to Egypt late in the evening to present the Israeli plan to Sadat Monday. When I have an Egyptian proposal in writing, which I should now be in a position to shape, I will bring it back to Jerusalem.”

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 140, Country Files, Middle East, Secretary Kissinger’s Middle East Trip, January 11–20, 1974, Memcons and Reports. Top Secret. Sent for information. A handwritten notation reads: “President has seen.”
  2. No other record of these January 11 and 12 conversations has been found. According to Kissinger’s memoirs, Sadat called in his associates to join him and Kissinger only once during the shuttle for a meeting on Monday, January 14, and it was the only time Kissinger’s notetaker, Peter Rodman, was in attendance. (Years of Upheaval, p. 822) This is the only meeting that an actual memorandum of conversation between Sadat and Kissinger has been found for the entire first shuttle, which took place between January 11 and January 19. See Document 5.
  3. The conversation between Meir and Kissinger took place on January 12 between 8:15 and 9 a.m. at Meir’s residence in Jerusalem. A memorandum of conversation is in the National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 140, Country Files, Middle East, Secretary Kissinger’s Middle East Trip, January 11–20, 1974, Memcons and Reports.
  4. According to Kissinger’s Record of Schedule, Kissinger met with these Israeli Cabinet members on January 12 at 9:30 p.m. for 2½ hours. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968–76) No other record has been found.
  5. See footnote 2, Document 1.
  6. Janaury 13.