120. Telegram From Secretary of State Vance’s Delegation to Certain Diplomatic Posts1

Secto 10023. Subj: Joint U.S.-Soviet Statement on the Middle East.

1. Final paragraph of this message contains text of statement on the Middle East agreed by the Secretary and Gromyko following their meeting in New York and Washington.2 It is embargoed for release at 20:00 hours Saturday, October 1.

2. For Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jidda: We are making copies available to your host government representatives in New York, but you may pass it along at your end noting embargo timing and stressing confidentiality until then.

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3. For other action addressees: You may make copies available to host governments (USNATO may make copies available to SecGen and to NAC representatives), also stressing embargo timing and confidentiality until then.

4. For Tel Aviv: We will inform Israelis here, to whom final text has already been made available, of decision to issue statement.

5. For Moscow: Secretary and Gromyko agreed on Sunday release but did not pin down details before Gromyko party had departed for Moscow. We have explained to Soviet Embassy Washington need to release Saturday evening in order to make Sunday papers.3 This means story will break on late Saturday news broadcasts in U.S., which will already be in early hours on Sunday in Moscow.

6. For Tokyo: Secretary informed Japanese of statement during dinner Friday evening, September 30.

7. Begin text:

Having exchanged views regarding the unsafe situation which remains in the Middle East, United States Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and Member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the USSR A.A. Gromyko have the fol [Page 635] lowing statement to make on behalf of their countries, which are co-chairmen of the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East:

1. Both governments are convinced that vital interests of the peoples of this area as well as the interest of strengthening peace and international security in general urgently dictate the necessity of achieving as soon as possible a just and lasting settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. This settlement should be comprehensive, incorporating all parties concerned and all questions.

The United States and the Soviet Union believe that, within the framework of a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East problem, all specific questions of the settlement should be resolved, including such key issues as withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the 1967 conflict; the resolution of the Palestinian question including ensuring the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people; termination of the state of war and establishment of normal peaceful relations on the basis of mutual recognition of the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence.

The two governments believe that, in addition to such measures for ensuring the security of the borders between Israel and the neighboring Arab states as the establishment of demilitarized zones and the agreed stationing in them of UN troops or observers, international guarantees of such borders as well as of the observance of the terms of the settlement can also be established, should the contracting parties so desire. The United States and the Soviet Union are ready to participate in these guarantees, subject to their constitutional processes.

2. The United States and the Soviet Union believe that the only right and effective way for achieving a fundamental solution to all aspects of the Middle East problem in its entirety is negotiations within the framework of the Geneva Peace Conference, specially convened for these purposes, with participation in its work of the representatives of all the parties involved in the conflict including those of the Palestinian people, and legal and contractual formalization of the decisions reached at the Conference.

In their capacity as co-chairmen of the Geneva Conference the U.S. and the USSR affirm their intention through joint efforts and in their contacts with the parties concerned to facilitate in every way the resumption of the work of the conference not later than December 1977. The co-chairmen note that there still exist several questions of a procedural and organizational nature which remain to be agreed upon by the participants to the Conference.

3. Guided by the goal of achieving a just political settlement in the Middle East and of eliminating the explosive situation in this area of the world, the U.S. and the USSR appeal to all the parties in the conflict to understand the necessity for careful consideration of each other’s le [Page 636] gitimate rights and interests and to demonstrate mutual readiness to act accordingly.

End text.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770358–0288. Confidential; Immediate; Exdis. Sent immediate to Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jidda, London, Paris, Bonn, the Mission to NATO, and Brussels. Sent immediate for information to the Department of State, Tel Aviv, Moscow, and Tokyo. Sent for information to Jerusalem.
  2. See footnote 4, Document 118.
  3. The New York Times and Washington Post published the full text of the statement on Sunday, October 2.