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

Secretary Kissinger asked me to pass the following message to you regarding his meeting with President Sadat:

“I had an extremely warm and satisfying talk with President Sadat this afternoon in Cairo including a private luncheon and a two-and a-half hour meeting afterward.2

“I presented him with a copy of the Syria-Israeli disengagement agreement,3 with a large map and related documents. I explained to him the arrangement we had reached with Assad for Mrs. Meir to refer publicly to a U.S. view that terrorist attacks across the line were violations of the ceasefire. Sadat believed this was a good way to handle the issue and would not unduly provoke the Palestinians.

“He recommended that we establish covert medium-level contact with the Palestinians soon, in order to encourage the moderate element—Arafat—whom he was trying to build into the main force of the movement. I stressed how politically damaging the terrorist attacks were in both Israel and America. He agreed completely, and assured me these were the work of dissident fringe elements. He would do his best to put a stop to terrorism.

“We then discussed your trip, U.S.-Egyptian relations, and the idea of a joint cooperation commission, on which I have already reported to you. We agreed to prepare as soon as possible an agenda of bilateral issues and projects that could be finalized on the occasion of your visit.

Sadat was very eager for our assessment of the new Israeli Government and the prospects for the next phase of Israeli-Egyptian negotiations. We agreed the time was not yet ripe for beginning a negotiation, but that we should use the next few months to think ourselves about possible approaches. This will be one of the major topics he wants to discuss with you on your visit.

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Sadat had no desire to accommodate the Soviets by reconvening the Geneva Conference. In any case, he himself would not be ready for it until September. He suggested—and then said to the press afterward—that the Arabs would need much time for mutual consultations, etc., before proposing resumption of Geneva.

Sadat also wants to discuss the Soviet problem with you when you come to Cairo.

“When our meeting ended, he invited in the press and made some extremely warm statements about you, and about the American role in the achievement of disengagement and the search for a just peace in the Middle East. Comments have been sent to Scowcroft and Ziegler.”

  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.
  2. The meeting between Sadat and Kissinger took place on May 30 from 3 until 5:30 p.m. at the President’s Giza Residence in Cairo. (Memorandum of conversation; ibid., RG 59, Records of Henry Kissinger, 1973–77, Box 21, Classified External Memcons, May–November 1974, Folder 2)
  3. Document 88.