2. Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, December 23, 19691 2



  • Agha Hilaly, Ambassador of Pakistan
  • Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President
  • Harold H. Saunders, NSC Staff

DATE AND PLACE: Tuesday, December 23, in Dr. Kissinger’s Office

Dr. Kissinger opened the conversation by handing Ambassador Hilaly the original of a letter from President Nixon to President Yahya (Tab A). He noted that the President wanted to stay in communication with the Pakistani President and had asked Dr. Kissinger to deliver this on his behalf.

Dr. Kissinger said that the President had greatly appreciated the message that Ambassador Hilaly had given him on December 19. When the date of Chou En-lai’s visit to Pakistan is set, he will have more to say.

Ambassador Hilaly said that very shortly after his return to the office following the December 19 talk with Dr. Kissinger, he had received a letter from President Yahya dated December 14. In that handwritten letter, President Yahya had asked that the two following sentences be conveyed to President Nixon:

“It is our assessment that the Chinese appear willing for resumption of talks at Warsaw at the Ambassador level without insisting on preconditions.”
“Quite apart from the public renunciation of the recent agreement between the US and Japan, the Chinese are greatly concerned over it and see in it a revival of Japanese militarism which will threaten not only China but the whole of Southeast Asia.”

Ambassador Hilaly said he was not sure exactly how these points came to President Yahya. The letter from Minister Sher Ali Khan to Ambassador Hilaly which the Ambassador had reported to Dr. Kissinger last week [Page 2] had been written on December 13. This letter from President Yahya had been written the following day. It appeared, Ambassador Hilaly said, that he had felt that these two points needed to be added to the communication from Sher Ali Khan.

Dr. Kissinger said that we appreciate this communication very much.

Ambassador Hilaly said that the U.S. would have a chance to judge the significance of this report when it determined whether the message conformed to what the Chinese had said at Warsaw.

Ambassador Hilaly then presented the brief letter from President Yahya (Tab B) thanking President Nixon for “his timely action” in helping meet Pakistan’s food needs.

Dr. Kissinger accepted this and said that he also had in mind the question about U.S. military supply policy which the Ambassador had raised the previous day.

Harold H. Saunders
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1031, Files for the President-China Material, Exchanges Leading up to HAK Trip to China, December 1969-July 1971. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Saunders. The conversation was held in Kissinger’s office. There is no indication as to the time of the meeting. Tab A is a letter from President Nixon to Pakistani President Yayha reiterating Nixon’s desire to stay in communication with Yayha. Tab B is a second letter from Yayha thanking Nixon for helping to meet Pakistan’s food needs. Both are attached but not published.
  2. Following Pakistani Ambassador Hilaly and President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger’s December 19 meeting, Hilaly received a letter from Pakistani President Yayha Khan. Yayha wanted Hilaly to convey to President Nixon that the Pakistanis believed the Chinese were interested in resuming talks at Warsaw “without insisting on preconditions” and were concerned about “Japanese militarism.”