14. Memorandum From Director of Central Intelligence Turner to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1

SUBJECT

  • Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat’s Perceptions of the Camp David Summit as of 18 August 1978

1. Attached for your information is a report [1 line not declassified] concerning Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat’s observations of the Camp David Summit in which he has expressed hope for the attainment of two separate but related achievements.

2. This information, [less than 1 line not declassified], is a raw report, not finally evaluated intelligence. The report is also being made available to the Secretary of State.

Stansfield Turner

Attachment

Report Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency2

SUBJECT

  • Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat’s Perceptions of the Camp David Summit as of 18 August 1978

1. [less than 1 line not declassified], Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat told [less than 1 line not declassified] that despite anticipated difficulties, he has hopes for the success of the Camp David Summit. He stated that the participation of President Jimmy Carter in the peace process makes possible, if not probable, the attainment of two separate but related achievements. The first achievement would be a two-part publicly announced agreement to include the acceptance of principles, based on UN Resolution 242, coupled with an agreement on the Pales[Page 38]tinian question based on the Aswan Formula announced by President Carter at Aswan, Egypt in January 1978.3

2. The second achievement, to be won through hard bargaining, would be a precisely written secret agreement on the framework for a Middle East peace settlement. This secret agreement would be signed by both President Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachim Begin with a witnessing signature by President Carter. The reason President Sadat would insist on a written document witnessed by President Carter is to prevent subsequent statements by the two parties—either inadvertently or deliberately—misinterpreting the understanding reached between the leaders of Egypt and Israel.

3. In defining what he meant by a precise agreement on the framework for a Middle East peace, President Sadat stated that both he and Prime Minister Begin had to agree on a clear definition of all the major aspects of a Middle East settlement. Following the acceptance of this major, overall framework of agreement, details would then be worked out by committees, hopefully to include the participation of other Arab nations also.

4. President Sadat’s own basic tenet for a framework of an agreement allows for considerable flexibility on details, but no compromise on sovereignty or territory—except for minor adjustments on the West Bank.

5. President Sadat proposed the Palestinian question as one example of the need for both a public and a secret agreement. Whereas the public statement could announce an agreement on the Aswan Formula as a basis for the Palestinian issue, secret negotiations would need to address Israeli concerns regarding which Palestinians would be the future leaders of a Palestinian West Bank.

6. President Sadat stated that President Carter’s participation is essential because he (President Sadat) has lost the trust and confidence which he had in Prime Minister Begin, and now he must fall back on his trust in President Carter’s sincerity and fairness. President Sadat felt that if he and Prime Minister Begin reached a precise written understanding and if President Carter witnessed that written understanding, then the peace process could indeed take a major step forward.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Middle East, Subject File, Box 9, Camp David Talks: [State Department Briefing Book]: 9/78. Secret; Sensitive. A handwritten notation on the document reads: “Outside the System. Bill Quandt.”
  2. Secret; Sensitive.
  3. See Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, vol. VIII, Arab-Israeli Dispute, January 1977–August 1978, footnote 4, Document 187 .