59. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • President Carter
  • President Sadat

Substance of Discussion

1. The two presidents reviewed the purposes of the Vance mission to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. President Carter summarized the substance of the letters that the Secretary will take with him.2 He also stressed the importance of discussing with the Saudis such issues as Lebanon and Yemen. President Sadat both endorsed the mission and agreed with the substantive points.

2. The President stressed the importance of restraint in public discussion of the Camp David accords. In this connection he strongly praised the very positive as well as restrained posture taken by President Sadat, especially in President Sadat’s comments on some observations made in the last two days by Prime Minister Begin.

3. The two presidents discussed the forthcoming Egyptian-Israeli negotiations. In this connection, President Sadat stated that he very much hoped that the U.S. will take part in these talks through the presence of a representative of the President as well as the pertinent U.S. Ambassadors. The President indicated that he expected that Roy Atherton would be present, in addition to Ambassadors Eilts and Lewis.

Moreover, the two presidents agreed that talks should be held either in Ismailia, or in Ismailia/Beersheba, or in El Arish if the arrangements for an acceptable Egyptian enclave can be worked out. President Sadat mentioned that Minister Weizman showed him a map for such an enclave and the size of the enclave seemed acceptable.

President Carter stated that he would like Ambassador Lewis to work with Minister Weizman and Ambassador Eilts to work with Minister Gamasy regarding the details of the first phase of the withdrawals as well as regarding all other matters connected with the subsequent withdrawal and other arrangements. The two ambassadors are to use [Page 212]the same map in their respective discussions with Gamasy and Weizman in order to avoid any misunderstanding. The arrangements worked out by them are to be brought to President Carter’s personal attention.

The President wishes to obtain a full summary3 of the tentative decisions reached in the Gamasy-Weizman talks. Such a report will be requested from the Israelis, and President Sadat promised also to provide an Egyptian summary of such agreed decisions.4

  1. Source: Carter Library, Brzezinski Donated Material, Geographic File, Box 14, Middle East—Negotiations: (9/77–12/78). Secret. The meeting took place in the Oval Office. Brzezinski summarized the conclusions of this conversation in a September 21 memorandum to Vance. (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Middle East, Subject File, Box 7, Camp David: 9/18–21/78)
  2. For the text of Carter’s letters to Hussein and Assad, see Documents 61 and 62. The text of Carter’s letter carried by Vance to the Saudis has not been found.
  3. A summary document of the Gamasy-Weizman talks at Camp David, which primarily addressed the military dimensions of an Israeli withdrawal from Sinai, has not been found. For Carter’s commentary on the progress of these talks, see Keeping Faith, p. 381.
  4. Brzezinski initialed at the end of this paragraph.