164. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel1

328036. Subject: Presidential Message to Prime Minister Begin.

(S) entire text

1. Please deliver the following message from the President to Prime Minister Begin before Sunday’s2 Cabinet meeting.

2. Begin text. Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

I received on Christmas Day your message3 of good wishes for the holidays and your hope that the new year we are about to enter will be a year of peace. I want to tell you how much I share that hope and that prayer with you.

Much has been achieved in this past year, and your initiatives and decisions have been critical ingredients in the progress that has been made. It is sad that having come such a long way we have not been able to overcome the few remaining obstacles.

Secretary Vance has reported to me on the discussions in Brussels,4 where the genuine political and security needs of both Israel and Egypt were made clearer to Prime Minister Khalil and Foreign Minister Dayan. These needs do not seem to be incompatible provided both governments continue to seek the implementation of the Camp David Accords through friendly and constructive negotiations. I hope that it will [Page 570]now be possible to resume the talks and finish the task we set for ourselves at Camp David.

As always, I am keenly aware of the commitment which you and I share for a secure, peaceful and prosperous future for the people of Israel.

My prayers will be with you and the Cabinet this Sunday as you decide how to take another step toward peace.

Sincerely,

Jimmy Carter. End text.

Vance
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Cables File, State Department Out, Box 114, 12/15–31/78. Secret; Sensitive; Niact Immediate; Exdis Distribute as Nodis. Sent for information Immediate to the White House. Printed from a copy that indicates the original was received in the White House Situation Room. Drafted by the White House; cleared in substance by Vance; cleared by Stanislaus R.P. Valerga (S/S–O); approved by Saunders. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P840148–2531)
  2. December 31.
  3. See Document 161.
  4. See footnote 2, Document 162.