309. Notes Prepared by the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Carlucci)1
PRESIDENT’S MEETING WITH SECRETARY SHULTZ, SENATOR BAKER, KEN DUBERSTEIN AND FRANK CARLUCCI IN THE OVAL OFFICE ON SEPTEMBER 18, 1987
Matlock describes atmosphere in USSR. Access to media significantly different from one year ago. People coming to think the world not as hostile as was. This could be a problem when time for sacrifice comes. Even allow demonstrators. Newspapers now carry news; are worth reading.
GPS S & Afghanistan. We will leave Afghanistan—maybe 5 months, maybe a year. The political decision has been made. Will be done while this Administration in office.
Want to engage in process of withdrawal; foresee a lot of bloodshed.
GPS The China of your Adminstration could be USSR. Different than detente. Detente was making existing systems interact. Gorb. changing theirs; we interact w/changed system. An aspect of the Reagan doctrine.
P Gorb. has been only leader who has not advocated Soviet global expansion.
M.E. We have been reluctant to get involved w/USSR. Why reluctant on Intel. Conf.?[Page 1418]
Thatcher cable urges we go w/o Shamir.2 Can’t.
I come back to Peres suggestion. I recommend we try. Entirely dependent on surprise. Can’t leak.
After prearranging, part. Sham. & Hussein you & Gorb. invite States around Israel to US during Summit to launch bilateral peace negotiations.
Chances of bringing it off are low. But if try, before I go to USSR I go to Israel to get honorary degree.3 Go to Shamir. If he buys I go to Jordan, possibly Egypt.4 If both of them on board we could put to Soviets when FC & I in Moscow.
The call would be made. You & Gorb. would sit down with them and get process going.
P needs to react
Moscow toward end of week of October 19.
- Source: Reagan Library, Frank Carlucci Files, Secretary Shultz (08/14/1987–11/03/1987) [Meetings with President—Notes]. Secret. Drafted by Carlucci. The meeting took place in the Oval Office from 1:35 until 2:06 p.m. Matlock attended the meeting from 1:35 until 1:43 p.m. (Reagan Library, President’s Daily Diary) Powell initialed the top right-hand corner of the notes. Also printed in Foreign Relations, 1981–1988, vol. VI, Soviet Union, October 1986–January 1989, Document 77 and scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1981–1988, vol. XIX, Arab-Israeli Dispute. In a personal diary entry for September 18, the President commented: “Then it was usual meeting with Geo. S. He brought Ambas. Jack Matlock with him who reported on changes Gorbachev is trying to make in Soviet U. George has an idea that perhaps this change can be used to involve Soviet U. in our effort to bring peace to Middle East. We never could have accepted that idea under previous Soviet leaders.” (Brinkley, ed., The Reagan Diaries, vol. II, November 1985–January 1989, pp. 774–775)↩
- In a September 17 message to the President concerning the Middle East peace process Thatcher asserted: “I see Western interests in the Middle East threatened by an increasingly active and effective Soviet diplomatic effort. It seems to me that we risk losing the initiative unless a vigorous diplomatic effort is made to advance the Arab/Israel peace process.” She suggested that the Soviets might be inclined to support an international conference as proposed by King Hussein and Peres, adding: “Of course, we must not rush into a conference without proper preparation, and it would be preferable to bring Mr. Shamir along, if that were possible. But I see no evidence that he is prepared to come up with proposals which stand a chance of being acceptable to others. I am fearful that, if we seem to be giving Mr. Shamir a veto, we shall erode Mr. Peres’ position and lose an unprecedented opportunity to make progress. This would be a tragedy. I very much hope that you will conclude, after the current round of consultations, that there is no better way forward than an international conference, and that you will throw your weight behind the Peres/Hussein understanding. I am sure that this offers the best bulwark against the expansion of Soviet influence in the region, as well as the most effective way of reassuring the moderate Arab countries at a time when they are under pressure in the Gulf context.” (Telegram 297398 to London, September 23; Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, Electronic Telegrams, [no N number])↩
- Shultz was scheduled to travel to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, October 16–17; Jeddah, October 17; and Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Rehovot, October 17–19. In addition to meeting with Shamir and Peres and Fahd, respectively, Shultz was also scheduled to receive an honorary degree from the Weizmann Institute. Documentation on these conversations is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1981–1988, vol. XIX, Arab-Israeli Dispute. Shultz was also scheduled to travel to Moscow, October 22–23. For the record of Shultz’s meetings in Moscow, see Foreign Relations, 1981–1988, vol. VI, Soviet Union, October 1986–January 1989, Documents 80–85.↩
- Shultz would meet with Mubarak in Cairo, October 19, and with King Hussein in London October 19–20. In telegram 24539 from Cairo, October 19, the Embassy transmitted a synopsis of Shultz’s luncheon with Mubarak, noting: “During the course of the luncheon, the Secretary and President Mubarak touched on the Iran-Iraq and Gulf war, the situation in Syria and Lebanon and Egypt’s economic reform program. The conversation broke no particular new ground.” (Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, Electronic Telegrams, [no N number]) Documentation on Shultz’s meeting with Hussein is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1981–1988, vol. XIX, Arab-Israeli Dispute.↩