7. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Yigal Allon, Deputy Prime Minister of Israel
  • Abba Eban, Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Moshe Dayan, Minister of Defense
  • Simcha Dinitz, Ambassador to United States
  • Mordechai Gazit, Director General, Prime Minister’s Office
  • Avraham Kidron, Director General, MFA
  • Ephraim Evron, Deputy Director General, MFA
  • Eytan Bentsur, Aide to Eban
  • Col. Bar-On, Aide to Dayan
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Sec. of State, Asst. to President
  • Ellsworth Bunker, Amb. at Large
  • Kenneth Keating, Amb. to Israel
  • Joseph J. Sisco, Asst. Sec. for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs
  • Carlyle Maw, Legal Adviser, Dept. of State
  • Alfred L. Atherton, Jr., Dep. Asst. Sec for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs
  • Harold Saunders, NSC Senior Staff
  • Peter W. Rodman, NSC Staff

Allon: How is the American-Israeli war of attrition proceeding?

Kissinger: I am afraid to say we are making progress.

Allon: I am happy with the Israeli press for attacking us for giving in.

Kissinger: Do they attack you?

Eban: They say it is a one-sided retreat, there is no limitation on Egyptian forces, there is linkage, etc.

Allon: All right, Henry, let’s start.

Let me say for the record that any memorandum of understanding reached between the U.S. and Israel is binding on both parties.

Kissinger: Let’s say “henceforth” it is binding, so it scraps all the previous ones. [laughter]

Let’s go through the agreement.

Dayan: [shows a new map Tab A]2 The Chief of Staff didn’t like it, but I overruled him, so we are redoing it. The important point is this one, this promontory [in the south]. Here we have a fortified position. I [Page 53] said we would go two kilometers south of that, so that the piece will be not only not in our control, but our forces will be south of it. We are giving it . . .

Kissinger: . . . to the U.N.

Dayan: To the U.N. Our forces will not be in sight of Suez City.

In substance, this is the main thing, to go off this dominating point.

Kissinger: You have only one map now?

Dayan: They will prepare it and bring it to the airport. [See second map, Tab B]3

Kissinger: No, last night we were going to have two maps, one like this and one that takes you substantially further south.

Dayan: We are going ten kilometers more [in the other map].

Kissinger: What you are doing is widening the U.N. zone here.

Dayan: And adding one kilometer.

Kissinger: And adding one kilometer.

Dayan: Because of this road junction, we couldn’t go more than two kilometers off.

Kissinger: Where is the road junction?

Dayan: [shows it] It doesn’t show here but we need to keep it.

Kissinger: This is the map I took to Israel [Egypt?].4

Dayan: No, this is the corrected map.

Kissinger: You are making two maps, with overlays, so I can show him what you first gave him?

Bar-On: Yes.

Kissinger: So all they have to give up is one little corner here; and if he complains about it I can give it back to him.

Dayan: The importance of that is that we go off this fortification, so we shall practically not be in sight of Suez.

Kissinger: Right. Let’s go over the document now. Will you come to the airport with me to go over the map with me?

Dayan: If you want, I will be.

Kissinger: Good.

Dinitz: [reads Agreement at Tab C]5 “Egyptian-Israeli Agreement on Disengagement of Forces.

“Egypt and Israel will scrupulously observe the ceasefire on land, sea, and air called for by the U.N. Security Council and will refrain [Page 54] from the time of the signing of this document from all military and hostile actions against each other.”

Kissinger: My prediction is “and hostile” will probably go.

Allon: What about violating the ceasefire not by action but by moving forces?

Kissinger: That is covered elsewhere.

Sisco: And that is an action.

Dinitz: [continues reading] “B. The military forces of Egypt and Israel will be separated in accordance with the following principles:

“1. All Egyptian forces on the east side of the Canal will be deployed west of the line designated as Line A on the attached map. All Israeli forces, including those west of the Suez Canal and the Bitter Lakes, will be deployed to the line designated as Line B on the attached map.”

Kissinger: If anyone can figure out what is happening just from this document, it will be an accident.

Maw: It should be “east of the line.”

Kissinger: Carl is right. It should be “deployed east of the line,” instead of “deployed to the line.”

Allon: “And south.”

Kissinger: Should we say “east and south?”

Allon: If there is a map attached, it will be clear.

Dinitz: [continues reading] “2. The area between the Egyptian and Israeli lines will be a zone of disengagement in which the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) will be stationed. The UNEF will consist of units from countries that are not permanent members of the Security Council. Existing procedures of the UNEF, including the attaching of Egyptian and Israeli liaison officers to UNEF, will be continued.”

Allon: This is with the understanding that in the other document there will be a reference to the fact that countries without relations with us will not be inspecting our forces.

Kissinger: A reference to UNEF and only non-permanent members. We already do that.

Sisco: Say “will continue to consist.”

Kissinger: Right.

Dinitz: [reading] “3. The area between the Egyptian line and the Suez Canal will be limited in armament and forces.

“4. The area (as indicated in the attached map) between the Israeli line and the line designated as Line C on the attached map . . . ”

Maw: Why not define the Israeli line [in Paragraph B(4)] as Line B?

Kissinger: For clarity. Take out the parenthesis on “(as indicated in the attached map),” because it is a reference to an earlier draft.

[Page 55]

Dinitz: “4. The area between the Israeli line (Line B on the attached map) and the line designated as Line C on the attached map, which runs along the western base of the mountains where the Gidi and Mitla Passes are located, will be limited in armament and forces.

“5. The limitations referred to in paragraphs 3 and 4 will be inspected by UNEF with officers of Egypt and Israel acting as liaison officers attached to UNEF.”

Kissinger: You realize that no single paragraph in this document stands on its own. Every one refers to something else!

Dinitz: Should we make it clearer that inspection by liaison officers will be only on our own territory?

Kissinger: You can’t say your “own territory?”

I think this paragraph won’t survive.

Dinitz: [reads] “Air forces of the two sides will be permitted to operate up to their respective lines without interference from the other side.”

Allon: All right.

Saunders: Something was left out in typing of paragraph C. Let me read it. [Saunders reads the full text] “C. The detailed implementation of the disengagement of forces will be worked out by military representatives of Egypt and Israel, who will agree on the stages of this process. These representatives will meet no later than 48 hours after the signature of this agreement at Kilometer 101 for this purpose. They will complete this task within five days. Disengagement will begin within 48 hours after the completion of the work of the military representatives and in no event later than seven days after the signature of this agreement. The process of disengagement will be completed not later than 45 days after it begins.”

Dinitz: “D. This agreement is not regarded by Egypt and Israel as a final peace agreement. It constitutes a first step toward a final, just and durable peace according to the provision of Security Council Resolution 3386 and within the framework of the Geneva Conference.”—Should be “provisions.”

[Page 56]

Eban: Plural.

Dinitz: “. . . of Security Council Resolution 338 and within the framework of the Geneva Conference.”

Kissinger: We should put two lines on it at the end. This is the agreement. This will be signed by both sides. Sadat never said anything other than that both will sign it together. The U.S. proposal is different. There was some confusion.

Allon: Mrs. Meir had the impression . . .

Kissinger: She was wrong.

Is there a list of things I must raise?

Saunders: Yes. [hands over checklist drafted the night before by the working group, Tab D]7

Kissinger: This is a commentary and exegesis. Can someone do a simple checklist? Let Hal and Gazit get together in the next room and do an agreed checklist. [Mr. Saunders and Mr. Gazit go out.]

Allon: So you just add under here a line, “for Egypt” and another line “for Israel.”

Eban: On the next page, there is a paragraph B(7) which we don’t want.

Kissinger: If you staple it together, I will give it to Sadat. [to Sisco] Can you make sure that when I see Sadat this is on a separate paper and not stapled together?

Dinitz: [reads] “7. In order to facilitate the transition in the areas involved in the separation of forces, from the beginning of disengagement all industrial, administrative, infrastructure and other civilian properties and facilities will be left complete and intact in all areas over which control is relinquished by one party to the other.”

Allon: This will mislead him to say “left intact and complete.” It is not intact now; it is all broken.

Kissinger: “Will be left in the condition existing at the time of signing.”

Allon: Right.

Kissinger: That’s the truth.

Let’s go over it [Agreement at Tab C] so you know, because when I come back, that is it.

They may drop “and hostile” [in paragraph A].

They may want to put Israeli forces before Egyptian forces in paragraph 1. In that case we may have to renumber the lines.

[Page 57]

Paragraph 2 may be unchanged.

Allon: If we put Israel first, we should put Egypt first in the other.

Kissinger: They will probably want two separate paragraphs again. I am assuming you will accept that.

Dinitz: The Prime Minister suggests that to give it a more even-handed look.

Kissinger: But that was when the writing of the paragraph was less even-handed.

Dinitz: “Hostile” is important because we wanted non-belligerency.

Allon: But the problem is the movement of arms without hostilities. Maybe just to add a word.

Kissinger: They have already rejected “belligerent.” I can’t go back and forth. If they want to drop one of them, you would prefer to keep “and hostile,” and drop “military.” Because we already have a “scrupulous observance of the ceasefire.”

Allon: What about “qualitative and quantitative changes in armaments?”

Kissinger: That is implicit in the other document, which spells out the limitations. We have the document approved by Sadat.

It depends in what forum Sadat negotiates with me. If Sadat is alone, you have a good chance; if Fahmi and Gamasy are in every session, it will be like here.

Paragraph 1 may be written in two separate paragraphs.

Paragraph 2 I don’t foresee any problem with.

Paragraph 3 I don’t foresee any problem with.

Paragraph 4 I don’t foresee any problem.

Paragraph 5 probably will not survive in this form.

Allon: Why not? There is nothing new in it.

Kissinger: Maybe it will. But it calls attention to the inspection of Egyptian forces.

Sisco: If it is nothing new, why do you insist on it?

Kissinger: One of the two of them will go.

Dinitz: What we are interested in is not to have a new paragraph but that the UNEF continues its practice.

Kissinger: If they start raising hell, I will drop the sentence about “existing procedures” because that is the way it is done.

Dayan: If they don’t want it this way, they have to suggest something else.

Kissinger: I don’t think you need “existing procedures” for UNEF if you have paragraph 5. You don’t need the last sentence of paragraph 2 now. I will keep it in but be prepared to concede it.

[Page 58]

On the detailed implementation, they want in the opening of the road to Kabrit and Suez within 48 hours of disengagement. If I get something for it, can I concede this?

Allon: Can this be parallel to something on the bodies and Mizrachi?

Kissinger: Mizrachi, no. He has told me he will do it in response to a request from us but not in an agreement with you. It is totally out of the question. You want him mentioned?

I need a little maneuvering room.

If I come back with an uncompleted agreement, I am going home Thursday8 night and you can finish it with them.

Allon: We should put it in with bodies and the location of absentees.

Kissinger: I recommend you stay away from absentees unless you want a reference to the 80 prisoners in it.

Dayan: Unless we give them the two roads, they can’t get out.

Kissinger: He wants your posts off that road.

Dayan: But we could get the bodies.

Kissinger: That is reasonable. How do I write it? “The two sides will help each other . . .” or “will place no obstacle.”?

Dayan: They should turn them over, and should have them all prepared by the time we turn the roads over.

Allon: They should do it without the agreement anyway.

Kissinger: I have six hours, and there is no time for a substantive discussion. How do I write it?

Dayan: It is for them to do.

Kissinger: But we can say it symmetrically.

Dayan: They are taking the area and don’t need us to do it for them. They will be able to get their bodies. At the same time, they should hand over ours.

Kissinger: “Israel agrees within 48 hours of the agreement to open the two roads from Suez City to Cairo. During the same period Egypt will turn over the dead bodies of the Israeli soldiers to the UN.” Something like that.

There is a strong probability that it won’t come up that way, but by assurances. But I want to be ready.

Allon: Whichever way you choose, in the agreement or in the Memorandum of Understanding.

[Page 59]

Dayan: And it should say, “The details will be worked out by the military representatives.”

Kissinger: Yes.

Allon: On Mizrachi, we can’t get him in return for access?

Kissinger: No. But you can get him within 45 days. But I can assure you, Sadat will not sign the agreement unless I can assure him he will get his 86 prisoners back.

Dayan: Ninety.

Allon: It grows every day!

Kissinger: As I told the Prime Minister yesterday, I am prepared to explain to Mr. Avriel why I persuaded you to do this and why it is in your interest, and why the other course will lead to exactly the opposite.

Allon: We will get Levi and Mizrachi?

Kissinger: Yes. Levi he had never heard of.

Allon: He is just an insane man.

Kissinger: He [Sadat] didn’t reject it; he just hadn’t heard of him.

We are through with this.

Allon: What document now?

Kissinger: Joe, make sure when I get off the plane, I don’t have the document with B–7 attached to it?

Maw: The next paper is the U.S. letter [Tab E].9 It begins: “Dear Mr. President: I am transmitting the attached . . .”

Kissinger: It is the U.S. proposal.

Maw: I will read it: “Dear Mr. President: I am transmitting the attached proposal as part of the agreement between Egypt and Israel on the disengagement of their forces. I am also transmitting the attached proposal to the Prime Minister of Israel.

“Receipt of your signature on the attached proposal will constitute acceptance, subject to the signature of the same proposal by the Prime Minister of Israel.”

Allon: Are there two separate documents to the two sides?

Maw: Yes. “In order to facilitate agreement between Egypt and Israel and as part of that agreement, and to assist in maintaining scrupulous observance of the ceasefire on land, air, and sea the United States proposes the following:

Kissinger: Does Gazit want to say “or any other medium that may exist?”

[Page 60]

Maw: “That within the areas of limited armaments and forces described in the agreement, there will be: (a) no more than ______ reinforced battalions of armed forces and no more than 30 tanks; (b) no artillery except anti-tank guns; (c) no weapons capable of interfering with the other party’s flights over its own territory; (d) no permanent, fixed installations for missile sites. The entire force of each party shall not exceed 7,000 men.” Should we say “within the area?”

Eban: “Within their areas?”

Maw: “Within its area of limited armaments.”

Dinitz: There is no need for it. It is describing the area of limited armaments.

Allon: Simcha’s right.

Maw: Yes. [reads] “2. That in areas 30 kilometers west of the Egyptian line and east of the Israeli line, there will be no weapons in areas from which they can reach the other line.”

Kissinger: Do we need “in areas” twice? Why not substitute “at a distance?”

Sisco: “To a distance.”

Kissinger: Right.

Maw: “3. That to a distance of 30 kilometers west of the Egyptian line and east of the Israeli line, there will be no surface-to-air missiles.

“4. That the above limitations will apply as from the time the agreement on disengagement between Egypt and Israel is signed by the parties and will be implemented in accordance with the schedule of implementation of the basic agreement.”

Kissinger: No one knows what this paragraph means but it looks very legalistic.

May I raise one point with General Dayan?

The phrase “no artillery except anti-tank guns” may be too wounding. I would like to be able to substitute in (b) as a fall back, “no weapons which can reach beyond the UNEF line.” That is what you originally proposed.

I will start with what we agree on.

Maw: “No weapon that can reach beyond its own line.”

Kissinger: That’s right.

May I give you my exegesis of this document, so we will know what I will be doing?

We will have massive problems with Paragraph 1, and Paragraph 3. The difficulty with Paragraph 3 is that at the request of Gamasy he moved it back from 30 to 25, and therefore he would have to overrule Gamasy again. Gamasy wanted nothing. He may not want to overrule Gamasy again.

[Page 61]

On Paragraph 1, the “no artillery” point will be massive. “No weapons capable of reaching the other line” he may accept. We will have to see.

Allon: Yesterday you said the no-missiles point wouldn’t be a problem.

Kissinger: No, I said that having accepted it once he may do so again.

I just want you to know I may not come back with exactly this document. I want you to be prepared mentally.

Dayan: I don’t want it to break off, but I can’t see what flexibility there can be.

Kissinger: Don’t make a decision now; but I just want you to know.

Allon: Some mad commander may misjudge the distances.

Kissinger: I won’t raise it, so you don’t have to convince me.

Allon: The Cabinet spent an hour on this.

Kissinger: Your Cabinet reminds me of the JCS. While negotiating, we never hear from them, but after an agreement is reached you hear a lot about what they would have gotten.

I am not asking for a decision today.

Since we can’t argue tomorrow, you should think about it today.

We won’t have good communication.

Dayan: On the 7,000 man force, the Cabinet felt about the expression “reinforced battalions” that there had to be a ceiling.

Kissinger: I understand. But as a man of the world, you know that some time you have to agree to something so the other fellow can go to his colleagues and say he got something. If we say 7,500 men, you won’t break off.

Dayan: I don’t see why you don’t start with 5,000.

Kissinger: That is a good idea.

Does it translate right? If I start with 5,000, that makes about 800 as a battalion.

Dayan: “Reinforced battalion”—you don’t know what it means.

Kissinger: All right.

I want my Israeli friends to know that when I say “I understand,” it doesn’t mean it will happen.

The next document. [Tab F]10

Maw: [reads] “Letter from President Sadat to President Nixon—Dear Mr. President: In connection with the agreement on the disen[Page 62]gagement of Egyptian and Israeli forces, the Government of Egypt confirms that it regards the Straits of Bab el-Mandab as an international waterway for ships of all flags and that it will not interfere with the free passage through those straits of Israeli ships or cargoes.

“Upon the opening of the Suez Canal, the principle of free passage will likewise be observed and that principle will be extended to Israel when a final peace agreement has been concluded between Egypt and Israel. As a first step, all cargoes destined for and coming from Israel or owned by Israel will be permitted through the Canal from the time of its opening.”

Now we left out of this document the words we agreed to try for: “whether by blockade or otherwise,” at the end of the first paragraph.

Kissinger: That is impossible.

Allon: It means boycotts, etc.

Kissinger: He has already told me that.

Eban: Now the Memorandum of Understanding [Tab G].11

Maw: This parallels the letter.

Kissinger: We have to consider how to get the typing done. How do we get authentic copies?

Allon: You want us to send Phantoms to Aswan to pick it up?

Dinitz: [reads] “Memorandum of Understanding between the United States Government and the Government of Israel.

“1. The United States informs Israel that Egypt’s intentions are to clear and open the Suez Canal for normal operations, and to rehabilitate the cities and towns along the Canal and resume normal peacetime economic activities in that area, beginning as quickly as possible after the Disengagement Agreement is implemented.

“2. The United States has received assurances from Egypt of its intention, upon completion of the implementation of the Agreement, to start reducing significantly its forces under mobilization if Israel gives a like indication to Egypt through the United States.”

Kissinger: And this I will now do. I will inform Sadat officially that Israel will carry out a significant demobilization during the process of disengagement.

Eban: On the basis of reciprocity.

Kissinger: Yes. I will do this today.

Dinitz: [reads] “3. It is the policy of the United States that implementation of the Disengagement Agreement and substantial steps by Egypt to implement its intentions in Paragraph 1 above should take [Page 63] precedence over the undertaking of new commitments by the parties related to subsequent phases of the Geneva Conference. The United States will do its best to help facilitate the Conference proceeding at a pace commensurate with this view.

Eban: Right.

Dinitz: [reads] “4. The United States position is that withdrawal of United Nations Emergency Forces during the duration of the Disengagement Agreement requires the consent of both sides. Should the matter of the withdrawal come before the United Nations Security Council without the consent of Israel, the United States will vote against such withdrawal.

“5. The United States will oppose supervision of Israeli-held areas by United Nations Observers from the Soviet Union, from other communist countries or from other countries which have no diplomatic relations with Israel. With respect to the deployment of forces in the United Nations Emergency Forces zone, the United States will approach the United Nations Secretary General with a view to working out arrangements whereby no units or personnel of nations which do not have diplomatic relations with Israel will (a) be deployed adjacent to the Israeli line, or (b) participate in the inspection of the Israeli area of limited forces and armaments.

Eban: The reference to other Communist forces should mean Communist forces now in the force, because we told the Romanians we wouldn’t object to them.

Kissinger: But that is not needed.

Dinitz: [reads] “6. The United States has informed the Governments of Israel and Egypt that it will perform aerial reconnaissance missions over the areas covered by the Disengagement Agreement at a frequency of about one mission every ten days or two weeks, and will make the photographs available to both Israel and Egypt.”

Dayan: Can you let us know what the date is of these photographs?

Kissinger: So you can move your artillery? [Laughter] You will see the damnedest Israeli movement. [Laughter]

Dinitz: [reads] “7. The United States regards the Straits of Bab el-Mandeb as an international waterway and will support and join with others to secure general recognition of the right of free and innocent passage through those Straits. The United States will do what it deems feasible to maintain free passage of Israeli ships and cargoes through the Straits. In the event of interference with such passage, the United States will consult with Israel on how best to assure the maintenance and exercise of such rights.”

[Page 64]

Eban: The first sentence isn’t just for us but is a statement of your international position. But to say, “do what it deems feasible” sounds very skeptical. I prefer “will strongly support.”

Sisco: Yes.

Kissinger: That we can do.

Dinitz: [reads] “8. Recognizing the defense responsibilities of the Government of Israel following redeployment of its forces under the Disengagement Agreement, the United States will make every effort to be fully responsive on a continuing and long-term basis to Israel’s military equipment requirements.”

Kissinger: I will send this to Secretary Schlesinger.

Dinitz: We have a cable from Washington.

Kissinger: I have a cable too,12 and I want to talk about this. I was told the Defense Department agreed to the whole $500 million and the only thing is the delivery dates.

Dinitz: No, they haven’t finished going over the whole list yet and General Sumner is ill in bed and only back today.

Kissinger: I am told the whole list is gone over and approved. And any additional, the $700 million, will require a Presidential determination, and I have given instructions to start that process.

Dinitz: Scowcroft said to Shalev that the Pentagon was dragging their feet.

Kissinger: I have a later word. I am told that they approved the whole list. They agreed to 400 tanks and 800 APCs, and some artillery. The only item outstanding on the $500 million list were certain advanced weapons. The further items will require a Presidential determination, and if I return with this agreement I am sure I can get this Presidential determination.

Dayan: One set is the Presidential determination, but the other problem is they are holding up advanced equipment.

Kissinger: They are instructed not to use the phrase “political decision.”

Dinitz: [reads] “9. In case of an Egyptian violation of any of the provisions of the Agreement, the United States Government and the Government of Israel will consult regarding the necessary reaction.

I suggest adding “and any of its attachments or annexes.”

Kissinger: Certainly.

Where is the checklist?

[Page 65]

Let me repeat again, because there is a typist here: Sadat has repeated to me so often that he will clear and reopen the Canal, but it will not happen if Israel continues to make it as a condition. If you can restrain your press from claiming an Israeli victory, it may happen. Let him claim it as his own achievement. As of three weeks ago I was convinced this was one of the first things he would do.

Eban: “Restrain the press”—I don’t know how to do it. We will make no official comment. The Prime Minister won’t mention it in her speech.

Kissinger: [goes over the new checklist prepared by Gazit and Saunders, Tab H,13 reads the items]

—sea minefield map.

Gazit: This was mentioned by the Chief of Staff last night.

Kissinger: This he won’t agree to.

All right. [finishes reading]

Allon: One last point. How long will clearing of the Canal last?

Kissinger: He already told me: Six months to open it, eight months to have it in full operation, and he wants to deepen it.

Can we talk procedures? I will try to finish the document with him today and return here tonight. We will have to agree with him on a simultaneous announcement here, in Cairo, and Washington that the agreement will be signed the next day.

I will try for 7:00 p.m. here.

Dayan: Friday morning.

Kissinger: It will be midnight in Washington.

Dayan: Or midnight here.

Keating: Six o’clock p.m. will make the morning papers.

Kissinger: That will miss all the networks. How about 9:00 here?

Dayan: I can’t go to the Foreign Affairs Committee and say here are the documents, and it is already agreed.

Allon: The signing will be at 2:00 in the afternoon at Kilometer 101?

Kissinger: My colleagues in Washington will want it on the evening news on Thursday and on Friday. It has to be announced at 3:00 p.m. Thursday in Washington which is 9:00 here.

Dayan: 5 o’clock is better.

Kissinger: Our experience is that it is too late. What difference will it make if it is in the papers the next morning?

[Page 66]

Dayan: If I see them in the evening, even if it is in the morning papers, Gamasy won’t read it. We should shorten the time between the announcement and the signing.

Kissinger: All right. The signing will be at 11:00 a.m. Friday and the announcement at 9:00 in the evening.

Dayan: I don’t want the announcement of the signing before I meet with them.

Kissinger: Can you meet with them at 4:00 or 5:00?

The Egyptians don’t care whether the agreement is leaked. But the U.S. proposal, the limitations, should not be leaked before the signature.

Dayan: That is what will be leaked. If I meet at 4:00 or 5:00, it will be over by 6:00 or 7:00.

Sisco: If you meet at 8:00, and the announcement comes out at 9:00.

Kissinger: Meet at 6:00, finish at 8:00, and the announcement at 9:00.

Allon: Nine o’clock local time here.

Kissinger: Yes.

Dinitz: There is also an aspect we have to consider: It is not very good from the public point of view to announce it just before the signing. It looks like we are rushing it.

Eban: It must be the day before.

Dayan: If we can’t say the details, the tanks, etc. what can we tell the people?

Kissinger: You can say there are severe limitations.

Dayan: In the morning there will be the details, but Gamasy won’t read it.

Kissinger: We won’t confirm it.

Dayan: We can’t sign it and leave the people in the dark.

Kissinger: Can’t you sign it and reveal the details later?

Dayan: We have to do it on Friday because there are no papers on Saturday.

Kissinger: I think you are very sensitive to the Egyptian feeling, so I think you will bear this in mind.

Dayan: I have to put the papers before them.

Kissinger: If the fact of a U.S. proposal leaks, they may not go. He has told me he will not sign.

Sisco: Can’t you describe it and say a formal U.S. proposal is coming later?

Dayan: They [the Knesset Committee] have the right to ask for all the papers.

[Page 67]

Sisco: Can you meet later?

Dayan: Late at night.

Kissinger: Could you meet after the announcement? It is a safer course.

Dayan: The announcement is: “Egypt and Israel are about to sign.”

Kissinger: “Have agreed to sign.”

Dayan: The Committee should have the option to take a decision not to sign, theoretically.

Kissinger: Believe me, I won’t explain this to Sadat.

Allon: Are you going to the Prime Minister?

Kissinger: Should I?

Dinitz: She said she would like to if you had the time.

Kissinger: I had better leave.

How do we get all these letters signed? Do we have all this stationery?

Sisco: We have got it on the plane.

Kissinger: On the Presidential letters, I will have to initial them.

Sisco: Right. Is there a U.N. man in Jerusalem?

Dayan: Of course. He has good communications.

Kissinger: We will do it tomorrow. If Ken [Keating] goes to the U.N. to ask for Kilometer 101 tomorrow, it will be in the newspapers. The U.N. will notify Waldheim and he will hold a press conference.

There is a massive typing problem to get all these typed.

Eban: “Egypt and Israel have reached agreement on the separation of forces. The time for signature has been set for ,” or “has been scheduled for .”

Kissinger: Yes. You must get yourself geared for rapid decisions tomorrow.

Eban: Yes. We have scheduled the meetings already.

Kissinger: I will do my utmost to come back tonight.

Allon: I hope there will be no need for another Cabinet meeting because there will be no substantive changes.

  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; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The meeting was held in the Prime Minister’s office. Brackets, with the exception of ones noted, are in the original. All blank underscores are omissions in the original.
  2. Tab A attached but not printed.
  3. Tab B attached but not printed.
  4. Bracketed correction added by the editor.
  5. Tab C attached but not printed. Entitled “Egyptian-Israeli Agreement on Disengagement of Forces,” it is a draft of the disengagement agreement.
  6. UN Security Council Resolution 338 was adopted on October 22, 1973, and called for a cease-fire between forces fighting in the October War within 12 hours of its adoption. Additionally, the resolution called for the parties to immediately work toward the implementation of Security Council Resolution 242. For text of Resolution 338, see Yearbook of the United Nations, 1973, page 213. Resolution 242 was adopted on November 22, 1967, and contained two key principles: first, the withdrawal of Israeli forces “from territories occupied” in the June 1967 war, and second, the end “of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area.” See Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, volume XIX, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War, 1967, Document 542.
  7. Tab D attached but not printed. Entitled “Talking Paper,” it is a checklist of points Kissinger should review with Sadat.
  8. January 17.
  9. Tab E attached but not printed.
  10. Tab F attached but not printed.
  11. Tab G attached but not printed.
  12. Cable not further identified.
  13. Tab H attached but not printed.