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

Secretary Kissinger has asked that you be passed the following report on his latest meetings with President Sadat:

“1. After two meetings with Sadat today,2 I can report that we are on the verge of an agreement between Egypt and Israel on disengagement.

“2. In essence the agreement calls for:

“—Israeli withdrawal of its forces from the west and east of the Canal to a line no more than 20 kilometers east of the Canal;

“—Egyptian forces maintain roughly their present line east of the Canal;

“—A UN buffer zone between the two forces.

“3. Sadat has accepted most of the limitations on his forces which Israel has suggested; the few exceptions relate to numerical strength and types of weaponry. I should be able to get Israel’s agreement to the Egyptian exceptions tomorrow. I shall also have to get Mrs. Meir’s agreement to release about 90 Egyptian POW’s when disengagement has been accomplished.

“4. In order to make all this possible Sadat has agreed to:

“—A public document describing the three areas outlined above.

“—A classified letter from you to Sadat and Meir describing the limitations on Israeli and Egyptian forces and personnel. Both leaders will sign this proposal on separate copies, thereby incorporating it in the basic agreement.

“—A classified letter to you from Sadat stating that Egypt will not interfere with free passage of Israeli ships and cargoes through the straits south of Israel, and that, after the Canal is opened, Egypt will allow Israeli cargoes through immediately. Sadat promises to permit free passage for Israeli ships through the Canal when the state of belligerency has ended.

“5. We will also be providing Sadat and Meir with letters from you expressing satisfaction at the signing of the agreement, and assuring [Page 69] them that we will do our utmost to see to it that it is fully implemented. Finally, we will be transmitting to Sadat, in a classified letter from you, the Prime Minister’s assurance that Israel will not attack the civilian areas to be established by Sadat in the Sinai.

“6. The existence of the classified documents listed in the two preceding paragraphs is extremely sensitive. Public knowledge of their existence could ruin the whole deal.

“7. Assuming I get Meir’s concurrence to the remaining changes suggested by Sadat, the plan is for a simultaneous announcement on Thursday3 in Jerusalem, Cairo and Washington at 9:00 p.m. Cairo/Tel Aviv time (3:00 p.m. Washington time).

“8. The announcement which Sadat has cleared and which we will be clearing with the Israelis tomorrow reads as follows:

‛In accordance with the decision of the Geneva Conference, the Governments of Egypt and Israel, with the assistance of the Government of the United States, have reached agreement on the disengagement and separation of their military forces. The agreement will be signed by the Chiefs of Staff of Egypt and Israel at noon Egypt–Israel time, Friday, January 18, at Kilometer 101 on the Cairo–Suez road. The Commander of the United Nations Emergency Force, General Siilasvuo, has been asked by the parties to witness the signing.’

“9. We will be sending you a suggested draft statement you may wish to make in Washington at the same time.

“10. President Sadat has asked me to defer my visit to Damascus until after he, himself, has visited there. He argues that if he first sets the stage for my visit with Asad, my own visit may make it possible for us to get things moving with the Syrians. Thus, Sadat has rearranged his own travel plans so that he can be in Damascus on Saturday. I will follow him on Sunday, and then return to Washington late Sunday evening.”

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 44, HAK Trip Files, January 10–20, 1974, Europe and Mid East State Cables, Memos, Misc. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. A handwritten notation reads: “Back from President.”
  2. No memoranda of conversation have been found. See footnote 2, Document 3. According to Kissinger’s Record of Schedule, he met with Sadat on January 16 from approximately 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. and approximately 8:15 to 9 p.m. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968–76)
  3. January 17.