124. Summary of Conclusions of a Policy Review Committee Meeting1


  • Indian Ocean (U)


  • State

    • Warren Christopher (chairman), Deputy Secretary
    • Reginald Bartholomew, Director, Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs
    • Peter Constable, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
  • OSD

    • David McGiffert, Assistant Secretary, International Security Affairs
  • JCS

    • Lt General John Pustay, Assistant to the Chairman
  • DCI

    • Admiral Stansfield Turner
    • Art Begelman, Analyst, Office of Strategic Research
  • ACDA

    • George Seignious, Director
    • John Newhouse, Assistant Director, International Security Programs Bureau
    • Amb Ralph Earle, U.S. Ambassador to SALT Delegation
  • White House

    • Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski
  • NSC

    • Marshall Brement
    • Gary Sick

The PRC examined the question of how the U.S. delegation should respond to Soviet Ambassador Mendelevich on July 20 concerning possible resumption of the Indian Ocean arms limitations talks. General Seignious recommended some talking points for Ambassador Earle to use with Mendelevich along the following lines:

(1) although the original talks had shown some progress, they had been deferred due to turmoil in the region;

(2) some of that turmoil related to Soviet deployment levels at the time of the fighting in the Horn of Africa;

(3) other turmoil, not necessarily of Soviet direct responsibility (Iran, Afghanistan), had altered the situation in the region and had given rise to perceptions of significant differences between the U.S. and USSR;

(4) our efforts to narrow differences with the Soviets at the Summit concerning regional conflicts were not successful, which argues for a cautious approach toward renewing the talks; and,

(5) we remain committed to the talks and hope that a more stable situation will emerge which would permit resumption; in the meantime we would be willing for the heads of our respective delegations to meet this fall to reassess whether circumstances were more favorable to resumption.

The PRC agreed with this approach. ACDA will circulate talking points for review. Dr. Brzezinski suggested that Ambassador Earle review the presentation which the President made to Brezhnev in Vienna concerning regional issues and make the same points to Mendelevich in his discussion.2 All agreed.3 (S)

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Middle East, Subject File, Box 26, Indian Ocean Talks: Policy Review Committee 7/18/79 Meeting: 7/79. Secret. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room. Dodson sent copies of the Summary of Conclusions to Vance, Brown, Warnke, Jones, and Turner under a July 23 covering memorandum. In a July 17 memorandum to Brzezinski, Sick provided background information for the PRC meeting, noting that the participants needed “to agree on what is to be said to Mendelevich this week and to examine the posture we should take regarding the longer term future of these talks.” (Ibid.)
  2. Carter and Brezhnev discussed international and regional issues on June 17. See Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, vol. VI, Soviet Union, Document 204.
  3. Below this paragraph, Carter wrote: “ok JC.”