244. Draft Transcript of a Telephone Conversation Between President Carter and Egyptian President Sadat1

JC: President Sadat?

AS: Good evening.

JC: How are you?

AS: Very well. And you?

JC: Fine.

AS: I was going to tell you after I met with Prime Minister Begin, but found it was 5:00 and didn’t want to wake you.

JC: You should have called me.

AS: I have good news.

JC: How did your meeting go?

AS: Prime Minister Begin visited with us and returned very happy.

JC: How did you assess the meeting?

AS: As I told you in Washington, I shall be removing a lot of the load on your shoulders. We agreed to negotiate, and shall start in Beer Sheba for the Western Bank and Gaza. He has formed a committee and I have formed a committee. And we have agreed also on military committees to be formed.

JC: When will they meet?

AS: Yes. Immediately this month. We will ratify the treaty here on Sunday or Monday. The Foreign Ministers will meet on Sinai Monday or Tuesday.2

JC: Where will they meet?

AS: The Foreign Ministers only for exchange of documents. They will be meeting at the American Station in the Sinai.

JC: I will make provisions . . .

AS: Invited Begin to come to Arish on the 27th. Shall be receiving it on the 26th.

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JC: The 26th of May?

AS: Yes. The 26th of May. When he comes to meet with me on the 27th, we shall take planes and visit BatSheba3 and then open the corridor between Egypt and Sinai. We didn’t want to wake you up.

JC: Wish you would have. As a matter of fact, I was awake at 5:00.

AS: This is all a result of your efforts.

JC: You always say that. Let me ask you about the opening of the borders.

AS: On the visit on the 27th, we shall declare . . .

JC: All the borders? Or just through El Arish?

AS: All the borders.

JC: Very good.

AS: You know me. I want to keep the momentum going.

JC: I am so pleased that you and Prime Minister Begin have worked all this out together.

AS: I have a suggestion. Can you send Cy to us on the 27th?

JC: I will do almost anything you want. I will have to check with Cy to see what his schedule is like.

AS: We want to have your representative with us for this occasion.

JC: I will send a representative. If Cy can’t come, I will send my personal representative of equal importance.

AS: I didn’t tell Begin, but the land is my land.

(laughter from both Heads of State)

JC: It has always been your land.

AS: Yes. I wanted to ask you, the news of the nuclear reactor.4

JC: It is well under control now; was of concern for a few days. The press exaggerated the danger, as they usually do. I was there on Sunday in person, and I am personally familiar with the nuclear technology. I am very well pleased.

AS: We were very worried about it. I want to ask you to do something for me. I want to start a contribution for my scheme on Mount Sinai. I told Prime Minister Begin to deliver to me before Nov 19th.

JC: What did Begin say?

AS: He said he would do his best. As I told you in Washington, it’s 85% psychological, not 75%.

JC: 95%!

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AS: I told you I would take the load from your shoulders.

JC: God has answered my prayers, if that happens. I hope you and Prime Minister Begin will do anything you can that’s not required in the treaty to help improve relations.

AS: The Israeli delegation with him told me they were dreaming at the banquet.

JC: I am pleased; you have added a new dimension to my personal life. (mention of friendship)

AS: Without you nothing would have been done. I want you to declare your contribution, whenever it would be fine for you.

JC: Santa Catarina? I will make a personal contribution. When do you think it is appropriate?

AS: Whenever you like. My Vice President will form a committee, and we will build a church, mosque and synagogue.

JC: I will ask my Vice President to do the same.

AS: Shall commemorate on the 19th. Please give my best, and from Jihan, to Rosalynn and your children.

JC: To you too.

AS: With all my heart with you always. And if I can ever be of help to you.

JC: I won’t hesitate. How concerned are you about the Baghdad action?5

AS: Just like the other shouting after the second disengagement and my initiative, it will calm down.

JC: That is good to know. You have my love, and so does Jihan.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Office, Outside the System File, Box 66, Middle East: President Carter’s Trip to Jerusalem and Cairo: 2–4/79. No classification marking. At the top of the document, Carter wrote, “OK. cc Zbig, Cy, + pers[onal] file.” A final version of this transcript has not been found. Carter’s handwritten notes related to this conversation are ibid. According to the President’s Daily Diary, this conversation took place from 3:10 p.m. to 3:20 p.m., April 3. (Carter Library, Presidential Materials) Carter’s handwritten corrections have been silently incorporated.
  2. See footnote 3, Document 243.
  3. Beersheba.
  4. Reference is to the March 29 accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Middletown, Pennsylvania.
  5. See Document 242.