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161. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassies in Egypt and Israel1

283132. Subject: Sadat Speech. Ref: Cairo 19563.2

1. You should inform Sadat we are considering his latest proposals. However, the President has asked you to say: “Unless careful preparation is made and the other parties are consulted privately, President Carter believes that the proposed December 3 Cairo conference will be rejected.”

2. You should then say the U.S. will be glad to help prepare for such a preparatory conference and consult with other parties about it. Therefore, President Sadat should delay any announcement of such a conference.

3. We see the need to discuss the proposal with some of the other participants. Begin is not in good health and we need at least 24 hours to consult with him, as Sadat has requested.

Unquote.

Vance
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Cables, Box 109, 11/25–30/77. Secret; Immediate; Exdis Distribute as Nodis Cherokee. Repeated to the White House for Brzezinski only.
  2. In telegram 19563 from Cairo, November 25, Ambassador Eilts reported on his meeting that day with Sadat at which Sadat told Eilts (in what Eilts referred to as a “bombshell”) that the next day he would announce that Egypt would be ready on December 3 to “receive in Cairo representatives of all the parties for preparatory talks for the Geneva Conference.” Sadat said that he viewed the proposed Cairo talks as a replacement for the working group that he had originally proposed to Vance. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P840072–2045) In a November 26 speech to the People’s Assembly, Sadat invited all the parties to the Arab-Israeli dispute, including the Soviet Union, to a conference in Cairo to resolve difficulties to reconvening the Geneva Conference. (Christopher Wren, “Aim Is To Speed Peace,” New York Times, November 27, 1977, p. 1)