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

Following is a report from Secretary Kissinger of his Sunday discussions in Jerusalem.

“The stage is set for a climactic effort over the next several days to bring to a successful fruition the Syrian-Israeli disengagement agreement. After long, tedious and difficult discussions with Prime Minister Meir and her key Cabinet colleagues,2 I will be bringing to Damascus [Page 289] Monday3 an Israeli map which reflects the American proposal relating to the Quneitra area which has broken the impasse.

“Today we had lengthy talks on all the key elements of the agreement including the area of separation, the area of limitations, the nature and mandate of the UN presence, the prisoner of war issue, the timing relationship between various segments of the agreement, and the scenario for signing the agreement within the framework of the military working group at Geneva, hopefully early next week.

“We are, of course, not entirely out of the woods since I can foresee at least several issues on which it will be difficult to achieve common ground. The Israelis and the Syrians have rather marked differences, which I hope can be bridged, on the zones of limitation and the UN presence. Nevertheless, I believe each side has now decided that an intensive effort should be made over the next several days to conclude this negotiation successfully and I am, therefore, hopeful of the results.

“I am assuming, Mr. President, that as an integral part of the overall agreement I can proceed along the lines of your instructions to develop certain written assurances in the form of letters from you to President Asad and Prime Minister Meir in the same way in which you provided assurances in the context of the Egyptian-Israeli agreement. The following letters will be necessary:

“(A) A letter would spell out the Israeli assurance to us as to the nature of the limitation of its forces on the big hills west of Quneitra.

“(B) An assurance to Asad that we will continue our efforts in the next stage to achieve a durable and stable peace in the area.

“(C) An assurance to Israel regarding long-term military supply along the lines of your various messages to me.

“For the next several days I will be shuttling between Jerusalem and Damascus. I am keeping the other key Arabs as well as the Shah informed as well as both the Soviets and the Chinese. I am pleased to report that both the Syrians and the Israelis agree that at any signing ceremony in Geneva within the framework of the military working group there are no objections to the US and Soviets observing the signing. There will also be some technical details on implementation of this agreement that the Israelis and Syrians will have to work out within the military working group at Geneva, but this will not afford the Soviets an opportunity to inject themselves in a harmful manner.

“I would appreciate confirmation regarding the various letters of assurance.”

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 45, HAK Trip Files, Middle East Memos and Security, April 28–May 31, 1974. Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Sent for information.
  2. Kissinger’s discussions with the Israeli negotiating team occurred over the course of three meetings. Kissinger met with the negotiating team on May 18–19 from 10:30 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. at the Foreign Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem (Memorandum of conversation; ibid., RG 59, Records of Henry Kissinger, 1973–77, Box 8, Nodis Memcons, May 1974, Folder 5); on May 19 from 3:30 until 6:30 p.m. (Memorandum of conversation; ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1029, Presidential/HAK Memcons, May 8–31, 1974, Folder 2); and finally on May 19 from 9:50 until 11:30 p.m. (Memorandum of conversation; ibid., RG 59, Records of Henry Kissinger, 1973–77, Box 8, Nodis Memcons, May 1974, Folder 5).
  3. May 20.