64. Telegram From Secretary of State Vance to the White House and the Department of State1

Secto 8013. White House: Eyes Only for the President and Dr. Brzezinski From the Secretary. Department: Eyes Only for Warren Christopher and Peter Tarnoff. Subject: Meeting with President Sadat.

1. In a long tete a tete with President Sadat, he presented his suggestions on how to proceed. He suggested that we should ask each of the parties to put down on paper a draft of final peace treaty which would be sent to us. After our return to Washington, we should then convene a working group consisting of the Foreign Ministers with whom the US would seek to work out in advance of Geneva the various treaties. To this end, he gave me a draft of Egyptian-Israeli treaty. We then went through it paragraph by paragraph and he gave me a series of fall-back positions which he said we could use at our discretion. He said if any further changes were necessary he would try to make them as he felt the time was ripe and we must achieve peace very soon. Time is running out, he said. He then said I should tell Dayan that he (Sadat) is ready to conclude peace with him. He commented that he is pleased Dayan is Foreign Minister, as he believes he is flexible and wants to make peace.

2. I pointed out that even assuming we could help in working out a treaty between Egypt and Israel, we have not resolved the problems of the West Bank, a Palestinian entity, and Golan. He replied that he was confident that Assad would negotiate a treaty if Egypt took the lead. In so far as the West Bank and the Palestinian issue is concerned, the Israelis must give up the West Bank, except for minor border rectifications. This, he said, should be done by a UN trusteeship to be followed by plebiscite. He said that whatever was necessary from the Palestinians, he could produce. He said he had just met with Arafat and that he was confident that they would do what he (Sadat) asked.

3. I said that he was ignoring the Israelis and that, in my judgement they would not agree to move out and turn the West Bank over to the UN. I said he must be realistic. He replied that I should come back and see him at the end of my trip and that whatever I felt was needed on the Palestinian question he would try to produce. I asked him what he believed the relationship should be between a Palestinian entity and [Page 382] Jordan. He said it must be one of confederation or part of a united Arab state. He said it should not be federation with Jordan.

4. I then asked what he envisioned if the other parties, Syria, Jordan, et al., could not reach agreement. Was he prepared to make a separate peace with Israel. He replied emphatically, yes. He said he was prepared to meet separately with Begin and you and sign a peace “treaty”. I persuaded him he must accept that term.

5. He said it was vital that we begin to talk to Arafat. I said as he knew we could not do so until the PLO accepted 248 with a reservation and agreed to accept the right of Israel to exist. He replied that he could produce whatever we needed on this. He went on to say Arafat was coming to see him after we go to Damascus, and he will get what we have asked when Arafat comes to Alexandria.

6. There are many gaps in and problems with the suggestions he has made, but they are interesting and well worth pursuing. I am considering how to pursue discussions in the other capitals in light of his proposal and his request that I not tell other leaders that he has given me a specific document. I am not cabling text of peace treaty which has Sadat’s hand-written comments in margin, but will bring it back with me.2

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Trip File, Box 42, Vance, Middle East, 7/31/77–8/12/77: Cables. Top Secret; Immediate; Nodis; Cherokee.
  2. The draft treaty with Sadat’s comments has not been found.