281. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) to the White House Chief of Staff (Haig)1

Attached is a report on Henry’s first meeting with Sadat2 which you could send to the President. As you can see, the report is fairly thin and, if you prefer, you could simply tell the President yourself that we have a promise from Sadat that the embargo will be lifted when we have a disengagement agreement.

For your information only, Henry says Sadat will work to bring the embargo to an end within a week after HAK’s departure. Since there is still substantial negotiating to be done, I think it premature to get the President’s hopes up by passing him that sort of optimistic estimate.

Still FYI, Sadat said that once there was a disengagement agreement, he would cooperate in getting the embargo lifted in almost any way which would be helpful to us. When I called George [Shultz] last night, HAK had thought he might need proposals for an embargo-lifting [Page 798]scenario today. He has since relaxed those time pressures, but would be interested in any suggestions you or I might have on how the lifting of the embargo might most usefully be orchestrated from our point of view.

The most logical scenario would be for an announcement at the conclusion of a meeting of the Arab oil states, but if we really want to make it dramatic, we could suggest that the producers send an emissary to Washington to announce it personally to the President. If you would give me any ideas you have in this regard, I will get them right back to Henry. I think we must hold all this extremely closely, however, because we are not there yet and the worst possible development would be the dashing of expectations built up as a result of a discussion on scenarios, etc.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, TS 35, Geopolitical Files, Middle East, 1974, 11–20 Jan., Memoranda of Conversations and Report Book. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only.
  2. In an attached January 12 memorandum, Scowcroft informed Nixon that Kissinger and Sadat “had a long discussion on oil” and that Sadat “will exert every effort to bring the oil embargo to an end” without waiting for implementation of any disengagement agreement. The following day, January 13, Scowcroft sent Nixon a longer memorandum on the Sadat-Kissinger meeting, which is printed in full in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXVI, Arab-Israeli Dispute, 1974–1976, Document 3. These memoranda were based on telegram Hakto 5, January 11. Kissinger was in the Middle East January 11–20 negotiating the Egyptian-Israeli disengagement agreement, which was signed on January 18. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 43, HAK Trip Files, HAK Trip—Europe & Mid East HAKTO 1–65, 1/10–1/20/74)