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

Following is Secretary Kissinger’s report of his meeting with President Sadat.

“In three hours with President Sadat today,2 I explained exactly where the evolution of Israel’s position stands and what I think I can achieve in my next talks in Jerusalem.

“President Sadat feels that the proposal which I expect to take to Damascus with me Sunday3 could be justified to the Arab world. Indeed, from his recent contacts with other moderate Arab leaders, he feels reasonably certain that Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Algeria are already prepared to support this approach. However, he is uncertain that President Asad will be able to accept it as it is. He feels it will be necessary to persuade the Israelis to give a little more space around the city of Quneitra, and he is not sure Asad will have the courage. But he recommends that I present the Israeli map as it is since it reflects two significant gains over the last map I took to him: (1) it removes Israeli forces from Mount Hermon and (2) it gives Syria two slices of territory behind the 1967 line. The thought is that, if Asad is willing to accept this concept in principle, I would be able to come back to Israel and say that the agreement hinges entirely on a buffer zone around Quneitra. I shall see Prime Minister Meir Friday afternoon4 to report on my soundings in Riyadh and Cairo. Then I will take the latest map to Damascus Sunday. Meanwhile, President Sadat will send a strong message to Asad stating that this is a moment of decision and urging him to seize it. If further Arab pressure is needed, he is prepared to send his War Minister and Chief of Staff to Damascus after I see Asad Sunday.

“I am encouraged by Sadat’s attitude but would caution that Asad is still an uncertainty.”

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 45, HAK Trip Files, Middle East, HAKTO 1–179, April 28–May 31, 1974. Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Sent for information.
  2. The conversation between Sadat and Kissinger took place on May 10 from 11:05 a.m. to 1:34 p.m. at the President’s Giza Residence in Cairo. (Memorandum of conversation; ibid., RG 59, Records of Henry Kissinger, 1973–77, Box 8, Nodis Memcons, May 1974, Folder 3)
  3. May 12.
  4. Kissinger met with Meir and members of the Israeli Cabinet on Friday, May 10, at 4:30 p.m. at the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem to brief them on his meetings in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. (Memorandum of conversation; RG 59, Records of Henry Kissinger, 1973–77, Box 8, Nodis Memcons, May 1974, Folder 2)