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President Ford–Henry Kissinger memcon (August 23, 1974)

NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION
Presidential Libraries Withdrawal Sheet


WITHDRAWAL ID 010697


REASON FOR WITHDRAWAL National security restriction
TYPE OF MATERIAL Memorandum of Conversation
CREATOR'S NAME Ford/Kissinger/Scowcroft
CREATION DATE 08/23/1974
VOLUME 4 pages
COLLECTION/SERIES/FOLDER ID 036600070
COLLECTION TITLE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER. MEORANDA OF CONVERSATIONS
BOX NUMBER 5
FOLDER TITLE August 23, 1974 - Ford, Kissinger
DATE WITHDRAWN 01/31/2000
WITHDRAWING ARCHIVIST LET

page

MEMORANDUM


THE WHITE HOUSE
WASHINGTON


SECRET/NODIS/XGDS


MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION


PARTICIPANTS: President Gerald R. Ford
Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
DATE AND TIME: Friday, August 23, 1974

9:00 a. m.

PLACE: The Oval Office


Kissinger: [At the map of the Golan Heights.] [Described the various lines.] The Syrians have civil administration up to the Israeli defense line. [Zone around Quneitra.] Israel has violated it by building an anti-tank ditch. [Described the equipment limitation zones.] The SAM zone is not on the map -- it is 25 kilometers on either side.

After all I have told you about Khaddam, he has come here in a relaxed mood -- for a Syrian. I have tried to tell him he can't expect rapid movement -- in the last two-three months of the Nixon term. Then the Israelis thought they had, him [Nixon] paralyzed. You are not in that position, but you had to get in charge of the government. This isn't quite so, but it is useful to say to them. You would therefore need to the end of October and then you would be in a strong position to bring pressure.

It would be good to exaggerate the Israeli pressure, so they would be grateful. Rabin has agreed to come 10-15 September. Then we talk during the UN General Assembly. Then I go to the area in October. I told him we shouldn't have a lopsided Democratic Congress.

If you could reaffirm your relationship to me. These guys will get screwed -- you can't bring pressure here now. First it must be Egypt and Jordan.

Israel now would go to war first before dealing with Syria. So we have to keep Syria quiet. We made good progress yesterday. I vaguely presented some ideas: That the next move couldn't get to tne final borders; there would have to be another move in Egypt and Jordan -- and I throw in Syria.

You could say you would support another move in the Golan. There is another line half way down the Golan. The problem is the Israeli settlements.

The President: That is tragic.

Kissinger: Yes, but it is unbelievable they should have put settlements there. You don't want to take this on now, though.

The President: Will Syria wait?

Kissinger: You wouldn't be proud of my morals. He must take back that you will support another move. He went on television saying they would be patient. The Syrians are honest romantics if they are not cornered.

The President: Will they keep it quiet?

Kissinger: Yes. I have told Dinitz...

The President: Have you said we wouldn't go back to 1967?

Kissinger: This is a very difficult point. I have bobbed and weaved all over the place on this. We can't be pinned down. Say you understand their position. We are for a just peace. They are not likely to consider as a just peace one which doesn't restore the borders.

You know Nixon didn't like confrontations. Asad really launched on him and Nixon in the heat of the argument promised the 1967 borders.

The President: Where is the 1967 border?

Kissinger: Here. Redacted text - redacted text - redacted text - redacted text - redacted text - redacted text - redacted text - redacted text - redacted text - redacted text - redacted text - redacted text - redacted text - redacted text

Except that here, and maybe with Jordan, it is tough for Israel not to go back to 1967, with a buffer zone.

With one more move on the Golan, we might have five years. A letter from you to Rabin acknowledging understanding of their concern over Golan would help. A war in 1975 I think is 50-50.

We hopefully can hold off until the last half of 1975 to tackle 1975.

I told the Syrians the last war won't be a repeat of the previous one, and we won't stand still for an oil embargo.

If you said that as a Congressman, you said many things produced by political needs, but you totally support the policy.

The President: That is easy.

Kissinger: Syria organized the Arab Summit for July to coordinate oil pressure. We are getting that put off, hopefully until another disengagement move.

There is a report that Sadat is under heavy pressure by the Cabinet. He needs concrete help from us to stay in.

Fahmy had told the Cabinet we would give them 500,000 tons of wheat. You promised 300,000. My trip will buy some time too, but by December there has to be something.

The President: Derwinski said the aid bill is a real problem. They cut out the contingency fund. The Fraser gang cut us up -- strangely Gross was with us.

Kissinger: Cedarberg thought that if you didn't call some, they would put on country restrictions -- cut the Arabs, raise Israel. What Israel must understand is....

The President: Maybe we will have to veto.

Kissinger: If I knew you were going to do this. They are strapped for money. Syria doesn't need the money; for us there it's just a toe hold. If I knew you would veto....

The President: We have some time during the recess.

Kissinger: ________ said Israel is trying to float 500 million. He wasn't eager but would do it if we wanted. I told him to hold up. We could be heading for a confrontation with the Arabs.

In any crisis the Europeans are like jackals. You know what the French did in Greece. Now Wilson is saying we didn't stop the Turks so we could get credit for the new administration. When they behave like this on Greece, what they would do in a Middle East crisis would be brutal.

The President: That shouldn't make Israel happy.

Kissinger: It should make them unhappy. There is a report that the Arabs offered Porgugal 400 million to prevent is from using Lajes.

The President: I would like a breakdown of our request, and what is the status on each item.

Kissinger: Also Vietnam. The effect of cuts on South Vietnam and North Vietnam. If they both see that every year the Government of Vietnam will get less, North Vietnam will be encouraged and the GVN discouraged. It is peanuts after all we have spent.

The President: The editorial writers are killing us.

Kissinger: Because they have a vested interest in having us lose. Let Kwan Yeh -- whom you may want to meet -- says if the Republicans win in 1976 and South Vietnam is still standing in 1977, it would be okay.

The President: Get the figures. I would get them down and talk turkey to them.

Kissinger: Cedarberg and Slack want to help. They mentioned a veto.

The President: They must understand they can't fill the coffers on Israel and cut the Arabs.

Kissinger: May I mention it to Dinitz?

The President: Yes.



SECRET/NODIS/XGDS

page

NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION
Presidential Libraries Withdrawal Sheet


WITHDRAWAL ID 010698


REASON FOR WITHDRAWAL National security restriction
TYPE OF MATERIAL Memorandum of Conversation
CREATOR'S NAME Ford/Kissinger/Scowcroft
DESCRIPTION handwritten version of memcon #010697
CREATION DATE 08/23/1974
VOLUME 4 pages
COLLECTION/SERIES/FOLDER ID 036600070
COLLECTION TITLE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER. MEORANDA OF CONVERSATIONS
BOX NUMBER 5
FOLDER TITLE August 23, 1974 - Ford, Kissinger
DATE WITHDRAWN 01/31/2000
WITHDRAWING ARCHIVIST LET

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).