37. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Egyptian Delegation’s Views on US Suggestions


  • American Side2

    • The Secretary
    • Alfred L. Atherton, Jr., Ambassador at Large
    • Harold H. Saunders, Assistant Secretary of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs
    • William Quandt, National Security Council
    • Hermann Fr. Eilts, US Ambassador to Egypt
    • Denis Clift, Vice President’s Staff
  • Egyptian Side

    • Mohamed Ibrahim Kamel, Minister of Foreign Affairs
    • Ambassador Ahmed Maher el-Sayed, Director of the Cabinet of the Foreign Minister
    • Ambassador Nabil el-Araby, Director of Legal Department, Foreign Ministry
    • Dr. Osama el-Baz, Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs
    • Dr. Boutros Boutros Ghali, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs
    • Dr. Ashraf Ghorbal, Ambassador of Egypt to the US
    • Mr. Ahmed Abou el-Gheite, Office of the Foreign Minister
    • Minister Abdul Rauf el-Reedy, Director of Policy Planning, Foreign Ministry

Summary: Lengthy discussion of preference for compulsory ICJ jurisdiction and concern over (a) sovereignty issue in West Bank/Gaza, (b) Israeli settlements, (c) the return of Palestinian displaced persons and refugees, and (d) the future of Jerusalem.

The Secretary said that Presidents Carter and Sadat would meet at 1600.3 They will discuss generally the nature of the US suggestions. We had not yet begun to write our suggestions, but will begin doing so tomorrow. We hope to get a draft4 to the Egyptian side tomorrow afternoon or Sunday. Vice President Mondale will be returning tomorrow, and his input will also be needed. The Secretary thought that our ideas will be acceptable to both President Sadat and President Carter. They will outline a general framework and will draw heavily on the Egyptian document.

Kamel opined that the Egyptian proposal is in many parts consistent with United States positions. The Egyptians believe that their proposal should be accepted. He had told Sadat that the American and Egyptian Delegations would meet today. Sadat had approved such a meeting with all the Egyptian Delegation present. He then asked if we wanted any clarification on the Egyptian paper.

Compulsory ICJ Jurisdiction: He asked where the concept of ICJ compulsory jurisdiction had come from. Are there any precedents for this? El-Baz responded that the concept had been taken from the ICJ yearbook for 1975–76. In that volume, he noted, there are recorded at least 100 agreements on compulsory ICJ jurisdiction. The Secretary asked if any peace treaties are included. El-Baz said no, but referred to a Chilean/Argentinian copyright convention, a UK/Ghanian loan agreement, and a number of other agreements, both bilateral and multilateral. El-Baz also noted that the Israelis had on October 3, 1956, accepted the concept of compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, admittedly with some reservations. Their declaration was not as exclusive as the Connally Amend[Page 141]ment,5 however. It simply excludes certain aspects of Arab/Israeli and domestic affairs. El-Baz thought that the area of compulsory ICJ jurisdiction could be enlarged. It has the advantage, he pointed out, of de-politicizing the dispute and bringing it into a legal rather than a political framework. In this context, the resolution of disputes should be easier. It should lessen tensions and help to eliminate controversy. The Secretary asked whether this means that disputes flowing from a peace treaty for contractual arrangements between the parties should be covered. El-Baz responded that any agreement could be referred to the ICJ for decision.

El-Araby pointed out that the USG has pressed Egypt to go to the ICJ on the petroleum issue. Hence, the Egyptians had believed that this concept could be beneficial to the conflict in general. The Secretary said he will have the Department’s Legal Counselor look into the matter. Boutros Ghali observed that this would be our contribution to the ICJ, which at the moment has little to do.

The Secretary said that on other matters, he understood what had been said in the Egyptian paper. He noted the omission of Article 9. Also the general form of the Preamble and then the operational part are good approaches. He asked if the Egyptians have any question about our views.

West Bank/Gaza-Sovereignty-Round-and-Round the Mulberry Bush: Kamel noted that the United States has taken certain public positions that are on record. The Egyptians hope that these public positions will be reflected in whatever language President Carter introduces. Specifically, he mentioned (a) withdrawal, (b) the illegality of settlements, and (c) the Palestinian problem. The previous day, he noted, the Egyptians has gained the impression that we are backing away from some of these previously enunciated positions.

The Secretary said that this impression is wrong. President Carter has said that there is a good deal of merit in the self-government proposal of Prime Minister Begin.6 The Egyptians had assumed that the entire Begin proposal will be taken over. This is not the case. There is nothing inconsistent in this with our belief that there is a need to talk about self-government in the interim period. It is important to have a self-government in the transition period.

[Page 142]

Kamel agreed, and acknowledged that his impression was that President Carter favors the Begin plan with respect to self-government. He recalled that at the Leeds Castle conference,7 Egypt had also put forward ideas on the subject. The Secretary said that we take exception to the Egyptian idea that Jordanian and Egyptian authority should prevail in the West Bank and Gaza during the interim period. We believe authority for the self-governing authority should flow from Jordan, Egypt and Israel. There should be an election for representatives of the Palestinians who will govern.

Kamel thought that Jordanian/Palestinian and Egyptian/Palestinian relationships are enough for the interim period. Why should Israel participate in self-rule? Saunders noted that the Secretary had been speaking of an agreement which would provide authority to the government. He had not been talking about Israeli involvement. The Secretary observed that the Israelis would withdraw. Saunders pointed to the difference between our concept and that of the Begin Plan, which speaks of authority deriving from the military government. This, the Secretary noted, is not acceptable to us. Saunders stressed that under our idea, authority would devolve from the three governments—Egypt, Jordan and Israel. They would set up the mechanism for local elections.

El-Reedy asked about our interpretation of this difference in terms of the consequences for self-government? The Secretary said he had read the Egyptian proposal as suggesting a continuing supervisory role by Jordan and Egypt. This is not good. Authority should be gotten to the people as quickly as possible. Saunders noted that the Egyptian plan at Leeds Castle turned over authority to Jordan and Egypt jointly. This is not realistic. The Israelis are in the West Bank and Gaza. Hence, agreement by the three is better than any unilateral Israeli authority. El-Reedy asked if this suggests a role for Israel. Saunders said only insofar as the defined agreement on security is concerned. There would be no role in government. Security, possibly immigration and some other matters might be handled through a committee. The Secretary said we would have to find areas where such committee supervision is needed. Quandt noted that, under the Israeli plan, authority derives from the military authority. It can be revoked at any time. This is not acceptable. El-Baz recalled that El-Araby had alluded to United States thinking in terms of beginning the self-government role. What about termination of that role? Would this transpire in the same manner? The Secretary thought there would have to be a provision indicating what happens at the end of five years and how to proceed. This should depend in a major way on the will of the people. Saunders observed that [Page 143] we took our cue from the three points that the Egyptians had given us at Leeds. Only when the Palestinians are involved can one get a treaty for termination. One must have a peace treaty before anyone can sign. Hence, we had gone back to the El-Araby paper.

El-Araby asked whether the five-year transitional period will not simply be renewed. The Secretary commented that this depends upon the Palestinians. The decision on sovereignty at the end of the five-year period will be one for the Palestinians to decide. The Egyptians immediately demurred.

El-Baz argued that what is being discussed is different from sovereignty. Israel will be allowed to maintain its claims to sovereignty under our arrangement. If agreement is reached, sovereignty should rest with the Palestinian people. This is their inherent right. If we defer the issue, it is left unresolved. To say decide nor or self-determination is different from deciding sovereignty. The Secretary commented that the Aswan8 language speaks of Palestinian participation in the future. It says nothing about sovereignty.

El-Baz said the Egyptians need our thoughts on sovereignty. The Secretary responded that we cannot decide this matter now. There is no single claim to sovereignty. Both Jordan and Israel have claims. El-Araby argued that the Aswan language implicitly says sovereignty rests with the Palestinians. El-Reedy continued this point by noting that the Aswan language has three component elements: (a) resolving the Palestine problem—in all its aspects (the Secretary agreed, but noted that it does not say when); (b) recognizing the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people (the Secretary noted this means the right to a homeland). Self-determination, El-Reedy contended, is one of their rights and a universally recognized one; and (c) the Palestinians should participate in determining their future status. The Egyptians had inferred from this that the Palestinians are a party to the peace process.

The Secretary said there are different ways of exercising self-determination. It may be unfettered or it may be a choice among alternatives. The Egyptian paper suggests affiliation with Jordan; hence, self-determination is not an unqualified matter. El-Reedy observed that the Egyptian paper had indicated the GOE will recommend such a link. Ghorbal asked whether the American idea is that there should be an independent Palestinian state or a confederation. Secretary Vance said we are against an independent Palestinian state. We prefer confederation, federation or something of this sort. El-Araby thought that the principal people to decide this issue will be the Palestinians themselves. Only the Palestinians will be asked and be a party to the exer[Page 144]cise. The Secretary reiterated that the alternative “will have to be limited.” El-Araby observed that only the Palestinians can decide this. The Secretary noted that we cannot say this. El-Baz asked who else might come into the process. The Secretary said that King Hussein could come in. Hussein has not foregone the Jordanian claim to the West Bank. Nor has Israel foregone its claim.

El-Baz said Sadat had told President Carter that Israel has no right to claim sovereignty in the West Bank and Gaza. The Secretary recalled that in recent years it has been the practice that the people on the land where conflicting claims exist have the right to determine their own future. El-Baz argued that if the issue is left vague, Israel has a privileged claim on sovereignty until the last minute. This is an unbalanced arrangement. It will reopen the whole issue at the end of the transitional period. There is no mechanism to ensure Israeli departure.

The Secretary said we assume that in the transition period talks will take place between the Palestinians and Jordan on what happens afterwards. El-Baz argued that the Israeli objective is to keep the West Bank. Jordan, he insisted, does not claim it. Egypt could go to King Hussein to obtain his renunciation of the Jordanian claim, should this be required. Association between Jordan and the West Bank and Gaza should be left to the Palestinians. The Government of Egypt says it favors such a link in advance. Egypt will also push for this. But in the final analysis, the Palestinians should decide. If the issue is left floating, it will appear that the entire Palestinian problem is unresolved. We should agree that the question of sovereignty not be left to negotiation.

Quandt said that sovereignty is the word that upsets everyone. The final status, he noted, should be decided at the end of five years. Why should we now try to get into the sovereignty question and create problems for ourselves. El-Baz responded that the reason is that the Israelis are mentioning the issue.

El-Reedy said that the Israelis are introducing sovereignty in order to confuse their obligation to withdraw under UN Resolution 242. The introduction of the sovereignty issue was done to make the West Bank/Gaza appear as disputed territory. Egypt never claimed sovereign rights in Gaza. It simply administered the area under an armistice agreement. Jordan was in the West Bank in the same manner. The late King Abdullah moved into the West Bank in 1950. His takeover was challenged by the Arab League and was not recognized. In 1967, after UN Resolution 242, everyone talked of the return of the West Bank to Jordan. At the same time a Palestinian national movement emerged. At the Rabat Summit9 a decision was reached that the party to which au[Page 145]thority over the West Bank should be returned was the Palestinian people rather than Egypt or Jordan. He also noted that the Palestinians were recognized as early as 1947 as having a right to their own state. Kamel argued that Egypt was sure King Hussein is ready to renounce any claim to sovereignty to the West Bank. The Secretary noted that Israel is only willing to put aside for the next five years any claim to sovereignty to the West Bank.

El-Baz asked how the problem should be solved in the end. The Secretary said it should be solved by sitting down with the Palestinians. El-Baz asked what happens if the Israelis refuse. The Secretary noted that the Israelis reserve their claim to the West Bank. El-Araby noted that if the Israelis do not like what is happening, they can go back in under our ideas. El-Baz observed that the Israelis have not put forward any claim to sovereignty prior to Begin’s advent. When they did so, their purpose was simply to annex territory. If they wish to present a claim to sovereignty in the future, they can also do so in Sinai and elsewhere. Sovereignty, he reiterated, should reside with the people. Self-determination is necessary.

El-Reedy said that legitimate security concerns can be discussed, such as termination of belligerency, good neighborly relations, etc. El-Baz insisted that the sovereignty question should be dropped. Quandt noted that some day it will have to be resolved. Atherton said it is not simply one of how it will be resolved, but also when. In the peace treaty, Egypt, Israel, Jordan are all parties and can define their relationship.

El-Baz noted that deciding a relationship is different from sovereignty. Quandt pointed out that we are talking about a political relationship. El-Baz thought that a link could be obtained. But to introduce Israel as a party to sovereignty over the West Bank produces a problem. Quandt pointed out that we are trying to get a framework to see where we are going. El-Baz noted that after five years the Palestinians may opt for their own entity. They may prefer an independent state, although Egypt will do what it can to influence a linkage with Jordan. If Israeli sovereignty is introduced into the equation, it negates self-determination.

El-Araby commented that the Israelis occupy and the Palestinians live in the West Bank. Egypt says that the Palestinians are the proper sources of sovereignty. He asked what the Israeli claim to sovereignty to the West Bank is based upon. The Secretary said that Begin bases it on biblical rights, others say by annexation. El-Baz noted that by the same token, the Palestinians could claim a right to determine the sovereignty of Israel. If the issue of sovereignty in the West Bank/Gaza is left open to Israel, the same should also be done in reverse.

[Page 146]

El-Reedy referred to Atherton’s statement that sovereignty will be decided in the peace treaties. He asked whether this means that we cannot now know what a peace treaty will look like. Atherton commented that the peace treaty will be based on the principles of UN Resolution 242, including withdrawal. El-Reedy commented that eleven years after the passage of 242, why is it not possible to say that the Israeli claim to sovereignty is not acceptable. This should by now be clear. El-Araby asked whether that if the assumption is made that the Palestinians will wish to join Jordan at the end of five years, will Israel be able to veto this and continue proposed arrangements for five years to fifty years. Egypt is not against a limited choice. El-Baz said that when Egypt accepted the right to a limitation on self-determination, it never thought that the sovereignty issue would be involved. Egypt cannot accept anything that keeps the sovereignty question open for five years.

Quandt observed that there is no such thing as absolute sovereignty. Two elements must be worked out: (a) borders, which may require adjustments, and (b) security, which may dilute some aspects of sovereignty. El-Baz said that Egypt considers that sovereignty rests with the Palestinians. Ghorbal noted that we are coping with two diametrically opposed viewpoints—that of the Israelis and that of the Egyptians. The United States is trying to put off the issue. It cannot be put that way. Egypt agreed to a limited exercise of sovereignty in order to satisfy the security needs of Israel. Egypt said it would direct the Palestinian entity into a link with Jordan. But Egypt cannot accept dissolution of the Palestinians into a greater Israeli state. The Israelis want the West Bank and Gaza to satisfy their expansionist ambitions. We cannot paper over the differences. He likened the issue to the UAR/Syrian union,10 which was “an act of sovereignty.” Egypt cannot accept a link of the West Bank and Israel. It cannot accept what it has put forward for Israel’s security, namely Israeli expansion in five years. The Secretary asked how the question of sovereignty should be resolved. Ghorbal responded that the United States had worked on Sadat to make peace and to normalize relations. Now there must be a political decision also to press the Israelis.

El-Baz observed that the Israeli claim to sovereignty does not mean anything. Sovereignty rests with the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, he reiterated. The type of entity and self-determination can be resolved. But on sovereignty in the West Bank there can be no legitimate problem. If Israel agrees to withdraw, it is a renunciation of the Israeli [Page 147] claim to sovereignty. Begin talks about sovereignty to justify the extension of the Israeli occupation.

El-Araby noted that an agreement between Jordan, Israel, and Egypt should not have a provision giving Israel the right to continue the occupation in five-years time or to veto a change in regime. Quandt asked what happened if agreement cannot be reached on the matter of security. Does the occupation continue? El-Baz responded that the Palestinians should be brought in on everything. It should then be possible to work everything out, even at the beginning. If too many loose issues are left undecided, problems are bound to develop. Ghorbal recalled that the phrase was included in the Aswan language, “legitimate rights.” He asked where this is being taken into account. If in five years the Israelis do not leave or the Palestinians have the right to self-determination, where does this leave us?

The Egyptian three-stage procedure is vitiated if the Israelis retain the right to veto. The Palestinians should be given self-determination. They should have the right to determine their own future. The issue should not be cast in terms of a security threat to Israel.

Brzezinski pointed out that we do not believe that the sovereignty question needs be resolved at this time. We concede that sovereignty rests with the people. But we must also recognize that there is a problem of security. We believe that the security problem must be resolved at an early stage. The solution of the Palestinian question should not be deferred until the end of the five-year period. If one attempts to do so, it amounts to an interim, partial agreement.

Quandt asked why the Egyptians had agreed to a five-year period if they wish everything to be settled at the outset. Time is required to settle some of the difficult problems. El-Baz responded that the Egyptians accepted the five-year period at the United States’ urging. The Egyptian concept is two-fold: (a) a transitional period in which the Palestinians are conceded the right to self-determination, even though Egypt recognizes it is difficult to bring this about; (b) agreement to the phasing out of “certain things.” While the Israelis are withdrawing, Egypt will propose introducing security, the determination of belligerency and peace. The transfer of authority in the West Bank/Gaza can take place in steps. Egypt does not accept the transitional period as a way of deferring fundamental issues. Egypt is willing to do all it can to press the Palestinians to link with Jordan and to discuss borders, security, etc., with a view to deciding these matters. Ghorbal noted that any solution must assume that sovereignty rests with the people. The Israelis admit self-rule should be the right of the people, hence this concept fits in. The Israelis ought to be satisfied that the Arabs, with the help of the United States, will during the transition period work to have the Palestinians agree to a link with Jordan. They will also agree to nor[Page 148]malizing relations. It should be left to the future to see how this works out, but the Israelis should not be able to use their armed forces to achieve their aims in the West Bank and Gaza.

Dr. Brzezinski asked how this would come about. Ghorbal responded that the United States had seen how, despite its statements, the Israelis have gone ahead to do what they wish. Brzezinski thought that we should talk about some of the details of the five-year arrangements, e.g., a freeze on settlements. Let us suppose, he stated, that as a result of our efforts the Israelis get out of Sinai, in the West Bank the military occupation is limited, there is a reduction of Israeli forces, a self-governing authority is set up, and there is a freeze on settlements. There might also be a return of some divided families. This process will require five years in itself. It will transform the political realities of the West Bank. This is what the United States is aiming at. We have to talk about tangibles and we have to work with Egypt to achieve this. Ghorbal commented that this must also be present in the Israeli minds. Brzezinski reiterated that we must create conditions to manage this type of situation. Five years is not a great deal of time. We need to nail down specifics: e.g., the end of the occupation, the nature of the strong points, etc. We should not seek now to solve hypothetical problems. Israel, he noted, would even be willing to solve the Golan problem if Syria is ready. In Sinai, the Israelis are willing to do so. In the West Bank, the Israeli presence will be significantly reduced. These are all tangible benefits.

Kamel said he was astounded that the United States should accept the Israeli claim to sovereignty in the West Bank. Egypt will not accept this. It is out of the question. The Secretary pointed out that one cannot stop the Israelis from asserting their claim. Kamel responded that sovereignty is inherent in the Palestinians. The Israelis have to return everything. Brzezinski noted that we are seeking a process that will go ahead. The Secretary noted that sovereignty is not mentioned in the agreement, but that this is an underlying reality. The Secretary said there must be some kind of a misunderstanding. Kamel appeared to believe that we support the Israeli claim to sovereignty. This is not so. All the Secretary had said is that Israel may be expected to make its claim to sovereignty. The United States does not support that claim. Brzezinski added that we will not force the Israelis. We will, however, create conditions that will change the situation in the Arab favor. El-Baz said that Egypt can endorse this concept if any reference to sovereignty is omitted. The Secretary said we will not say anything on sovereignty.

(This concluded a long, turgid talk on the sovereignty issues.)

Settlements: The Secretary then turned to the matter of the Israeli settlements. He pointed out that we consider them illegal. In Sinai, we believe they should be eliminated over a period of time. In the West [Page 149] Bank, the settlements should be frozen until such time as the Palestinians and the Jordanians can negotiate their future.

Kamel said Egypt had understood the American position to be that all Israeli settlements in occupied territories are illegal. Freezing is a practical solution and this should be begun. It is up to the Palestinians and the Jordanians to negotiate the future of the settlements. But some way should be found to dismantle some of the new settlements and have others transferred to “encampments.” The Secretary asked if this is not something for the Palestinians to work out. Boutros Ghali agreed that freezing is a good idea, but suggested some way should be found to begin a dismantling process. El-Reedy echoed this view, contending that the Egyptian idea is to dismantle the settlements. The Secretary said that in Egypt this can be done, but not in the West Bank.

Boutros Ghali observed that if the United States accepts withdrawal, then this should also apply to the settlements. Cannot a “certain number” of settlements be dismantled in the withdrawal process? El-Baz asked if we consider the settlements in the West Bank to be different from those in Sinai and Golan. Dr. Brzezinski responded in the affirmative. Sinai, he noted, is on the other side of a recognized frontier. El-Baz asked about the armistice lines as they pertain to settlements. El-Reedy said that all settlements on the West Bank have the same “quality.” One of the arguments that the Israelis have sometimes used is that the settlements are necessary for security reasons. At least some settlements should be abolished in the context of a general principle of withdrawal. El-Araby asked whether by freezing, we are thinking of the number of settlements or the number of people. The Egyptian Delegation chorused that both should be limited. Dr. Brzezinski pointed out that the problem of the West Bank settlements is more difficult to solve than that of Sinai.

Refugees: El-Reedy asked about the United States’ view on refugees. Saunders said we agree with Egypt that an agreement must deal with displaced persons and with refugees. The latter will involve a larger group to help work it out. El-Reedy recalled that in the Rogers Plan,11 the United States had been clear on this issue. The refugees should go back or there should be compensation. Why should not some of the refugees go back under the United States proposal? Atherton observed that the solution of the refugee problem must be an international effort. El-Reedy reiterated the need to restate the right of return. Atherton recalled that we have regularly voted for this. It is a principle. [Page 150] To implement it, however, one must look at alternatives. Detailed plans have never been developed.

Boutros Ghali said that one of the American viewpoints seems to be to postpone all basic problems regarding the Palestinians for five years. The Egyptian view is to have some general principles so that the program can be sold to the Palestinians and the other Arabs. If it is different in Sinai and the West Bank, it makes it difficult for Egypt. Egypt would like the maximum of general principles which can give security and guarantee to the Palestinians. He suggested that a freeze and abolition be applied to Sinai settlements as well.

El-Baz said Egypt accepts the concept of freezing. The starting point should be that settlements are illegal and ways should be sought to liquidate the settlements everywhere. In the West Bank one must look for a special formula to liquidate the settlements over a period of time.

Dr. Brzezinski said we are not entirely seeking to postpone these issues. We recognize there is a difference in the West Bank/Gaza, and the problem that this poses for Egypt. The Egyptian judgment will have to prevail. The resolution of the Sinai and West Bank problems cannot be identical. The emotional context of the West Bank problem is difficult. The United States is seeking to reverse fundamental trends. We would like to solve the Sinai effort right away, depending on the Egyptian judgment. In the West Bank, we want to begin a process that is a fundamental reversal. In five-years time, the situation should be greatly changed.

Kamel observed that any proposal on settlements should include a freeze and a statement that they are illegal. Quandt asked if the Egyptians want the Sinai settlements dealt with separately. Kamel responded in the negative.

El-Reedy asked about the reaction to Palestinians outside the West Bank. Should there be a role for them? Saunders said that the people must begin to think of alternatives. The present situation is unsatisfactory. The process we are talking about begins something called Palestinian. El-Araby referred to the displaced persons and to the refugees. Saunders said we are talking about more than a million people. How can all of them be moved? The displaced persons number about 100,000; the West Bank cannot absorb all of these. Time will be needed to settle the matter. Quandt observed that Dayan agrees with the Egyptians on this matter. There will be terrible human difficulties. But all agree that the Palestinians have rights. El-Araby said these rights and principles should be reaffirmed and then a mechanism should be set up to implement them. El-Baz talked of restating the principle and working out modalities for implementation. Atherton commented that if one gets a framework and a reversal of present trends, some Pales[Page 151]tinians outside of the West Bank will request going back. Hopefully, many practical-minded people will support this. They should be able to see that they have a stake in the matter. El-Reedy recalled that in the ’69 Rogers Plan there had been a reference to the return of refugees.

Jerusalem: El-Baz asked about our thinking on Jerusalem. Saunders said we have no refined ideas on the subject. Quandt observed that the Egyptians know some of our ideas. There should be no division of Jerusalem and there should be free access. El-Baz asked if Jerusalem is included in the withdrawal concept. Saunders thought it was. El-Baz said he was aware of the sensitivity on this point. The Saudis, the Christians and others are keenly interested. El-Reedy asked how the self-government concept applies to East Jerusalem. Atherton, expressing his personal feeling, commented that the less specific one is at this time on Jerusalem, the better. Details should be left to be worked out later on. El-Araby asked what we already have on record with respect to Jerusalem. Saunders observed that we must hold this until we have high-level guidance.

Kamel said that Egypt is concerned that the American proposal be agreeable to the Saudis. It should include some language on Jerusalem in order to get the Jordanians to join. The United States must help Egypt consolidate its position. Egypt counts on a continued relationship with the United States, and Egyptians want a comprehensive settlement. The Secretary observed that he has always spoken of a comprehensive settlement.

FOOTNOTE: Subsequently the Egyptians told Eilts and Quandt that they do believe that the Sinai settlements should in our paper be treated differently from those in the West Bank.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Country File, Box 53, Middle East: Camp David Memcons, 9/78. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Eilts on September 16. The meeting took place in Holly Lodge. According to Document 28, the meeting took place from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., September 8.
  2. Brzezinski is not listed among the participants on the U.S. side, but he participated in the discussion.
  3. See footnote 23, Document 28.
  4. In his account of the summit, Quandt noted that Saunders began work on the first of twenty-three drafts of the U.S. proposal late in the evening of September 8. (Quandt, Camp David, p. 226) This first draft is printed as Document 40.
  5. Named after Senator Thomas Connally (D-Texas), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Connally Amendment refers to language included in the United States’ 1946 declaration of acceptance of the International Court of Justice’s compulsory jurisdiction. The amendment stated that the Court’s jurisdiction shall not apply to disputes with regard to matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of the United States of America “as determined by the United States of America.” (C.P. Trussel, “Senate Vote Near on World Court,” The New York Times, August 2, 1946, p. 5)
  6. See footnote 4, Document 36.
  7. See footnote 3, Document 3.
  8. See footnote 5, Document 3.
  9. Reference is to the October 1974 Arab Summit conference held at Rabat, Morocco. For documentation on this conference, see Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. XXVI, Arab-Israeli Dispute, 1974–1976.
  10. Reference is to the 1958–1961 political union of Egypt and Syria, known as the United Arab Republic.
  11. Reference is to a series of formulas for the resolution of the Arab-Israeli dispute first articulated by Secretary of State William P. Rogers in an address he gave on December 9, 1969. For the text of Rogers’s speech, see the Department of State Bulletin, January 5, 1970, pp. 7–11.