322. Transcript of a Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Kissinger and President Nixon1

K: Mr. President.

N: Hi, Henry. How are you.

K: We are practically finished and we will have a good communiqué.2 Everybody accepted in effect our draft almost verbatim with France abstaining from three paragraphs—the most operational paragraphs, but nevertheless, after the orgasm of our press for three days about that Titanic confrontation with Jobert he winds up having no votes and we have all of them. The communiqué is essentially the one we drafted. We got about, I would say, 90 percent of what we wanted.

N: Let’s be sure we get a little credit for it. After all we worked these people hard, had them to dinner, told them the facts of life.

[Omitted here is unrelated discussion.]

K: On the Embargo, Mr. President, I am confident that it will be lifted in a week.

N: Sounds that way from the thing I saw last night and this morning that you sent over here.3

K: They are having a summit meet of Faisal, Boumedienne and Sadat today and tomorrow.

N: Incidentally, I got your message late last night4 about the conference and I think that is just the way to handle the French—isolate them. They don’t want to be isolated. The interesting thing is though that all the other countries would be willing, you know, to go along. The Europeans were supposed to have unanimous vote you remember. That is why I made the little crack that I made at the end of the [Page 902]dinner because our friend the Canadian had told me that we have to be unanimous. I said well you aren’t going to do anything then. He was not mean about it.

K: Last week, Mr. President, the Community took a decision and today they have split apart on it eight to one. It is a lesson to everybody.

N: There is no confrontation with the Arabs, is there?

K: Absolutely none.

N: Make that point very clear will you in your—when are you going to brief?5

K: About 3:00.

N: Make it very clear that you and I have chatted, etc. and that the President particularly pointed out that this was not by way of confrontation with the oil producing nations. On the contrary it is in their interests to have first a market they can count on and at a price that is reasonable—whatever you want to say. And that we all want to do that. We look forward to working with them in the same cooperative spirit that we worked here and we look forward to working with them in their economic development—apart from oil. All that old jazz.

K: We meet again at 12:30 and we are down to a very few minor paragraphs.

N: You might tell the conferees you have talked to me and I was very pleased with the results. Tell them this—you might say that the President said—I did not include this in my toast—you can say in these days of summitry there is the tendency often to credit—for the attention to go and the credit or discredit to go only to the heads of government or heads of state because we meet in various things, but that I have always said that the real credit goes to the ministers and that I consider the foreign ministers, the economic ministers, ministers of finance, etc and their colleagues that they are basically the artisans—the peacemakers—the peacebuilders—without them there could be no success between meetings of heads of government and state and I particularly appreciate the hard work that they have gone to do to produce. Anything like—something like that might be helpful.6

K: Right, Mr. President. I will say this.

[Omitted here is unrelated discussion.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 24, Chronological Files. Unclassified.
  2. The communiqué noted the specific steps that conference participants agreed would provide for effective multilateral cooperation in the field of energy. It also noted their concern over the impact of increased oil prices on the structure of world trade and finance, particularly for the developing countries. Of the 17 points listed in the communiqué, it was acknowledged that France objected to point 9 (an action program through the OECD), those parts of point 10 that concerned the maintenance of open monetary and trade policies; point 16 (the establishment of a coordinating group to carry on the work of the conference), and point 17 (the need to involve developing countries, consumers and producers in the preparations for future meetings). The communiqué is published in full in the Department of State Bulletin, March 4, 1974, pp. 220–222.
  3. Not further identified.
  4. See footnote 2, Document 321.
  5. Kissinger’s press conference of February 13 is published in the Department of State Bulletin, March 4, 1974, pp. 223–229.
  6. President Nixon released a statement in Key Biscayne on February 13 expressing his satisfaction with the outcome of the conference. The text is in Public Papers: Nixon, 1974, p. 165.