53. Telegram From Secretary of State Kissinger to the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft)1

Hakto 79. Please pass following report to the President.

Begin text:

I have had two meetings since returning to Israel Friday night, one with Mrs. Meir and her key Cabinet members, and a second one with Dayan chairing it because PM Meir was ill.2

These sessions helped refine our tactics for my key meetings with Assad today, and I now have Israel’s specific views of all the key elements of an agreement.

The map I will present today represents two important advances over the previous map I left in Damascus: (1) it removes Israeli forces from Mount Hermon and would replace them with the UN; and (2) it would return to Syria two slices of territory behind the 1967 line, which Assad can make much of politically. The key issue remains the line of disengagement—and the agreement is likely to be made or broken on: (A) Israel’s willingness to give up all of Kuneitra with perhaps a one kilometer UN buffer zone around it separating Syrians and Israelis; and (B) Syrian willingness to agree to continued Israeli control of three major hills west of Kuneitra.

Internally in Israel, it is now likely that Rabin will be able to form a government by the end of this week. Internally in Syria, Assad seems to be preparing the groundwork for an agreement. He is, of course, still an uncertainty, and the prospect of an agreement will be much clearer by tonight.

End text.

Warm regards.

  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; Immediate.
  2. For the meeting with Meir and key Cabinet members, see footnote 4, Document 52. Kissinger met with Dayan and the Israeli negotiating team on May 11 from 9:15 until 11:10 p.m. at the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem. (Memorandum of conversation; Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, CL 343, Department of State Memcons, External, May 1974, Folder 1)