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USSR could agree on a set of general principles that succeeded in starting negotiations, then each side could give its own particular interpretation of what any of these principles meant. The USSR could say that the principle applied only to Jordan. The US would simply say, “Let's see what emerges from the negotiations." The issue is whether the two sides could find a set of propositions general enough to get talks started.
Foreign Minister Gromyko then turned to paragraph 4. He objected to the words "including participation of the signatory nations." He said that if that meant that Israel could participate, this could not be accepted.
He then indicated that paragraphs 5 and 6 were all right. On paragraph 7, he indicated that it would be necessary to make reference to the appropriate UN decisions.
Foreign Minister Gromyko said that he could not give a final answer at this meeting. He had simply given a quick judgment on what changes would be required if the principles were to become more acceptable to the Soviet side.
Dr. Kissinger said he would like to recapitulate the Foreign Minister's comments and to make some comments of his own.
On paragraph 1, he said that the US could accept a formulation which indicated the comprehensive nature of the settlement. As far as "separate agreements” are concerned, a way could be found to indicate that they would be part of a general settlement. It would also be possible, as Ambassador Dobrynin had suggested, to use the phrase "appropriate forms of negotiation” rather than “negotiations between the signatories." The Foreign Minister interjected that this was important because the phrase "negotiation between the signatories" would be like a red flag to a bull because it connoted direct negotiations.
Continuing, Dr. Kissinger said that the US would have to have some reference to Security Council Resolution 242. Foreign Minister Gromyko said, "Impossible." There was a moment of silence, and Dr. Kissinger continued.
On paragraph 3, if the Soviet side wanted to say explicitly that border changes would take place only on the Jordanian front, that would be impossible. The US could note the Soviet view. The Foreign Minister said that would do no good because it would not bring the two views together. He suggested that the US might at least confidentially indicate that this point applied only to the Jordanian sector. Otherwise, there would be major problems if the Egyptians and the Syrians thought there were to be changes in their borders.
Dr. Kissinger suggested that it might be possible to agree confidentially that we would both exercise our influence for a return to 1967
borders. But this would have to be agreed confidentially. He noted that keeping things like this confidential in the Arab world was often an impossibility.
On paragraph 4, he felt that the US could meet the objection to including Israel explicitly in the composition of the international forces. The words “participation of the signatory nations" would not be necessary.
Foreign Minister Gromyko said the problem with including it is that it reflects Israeli aspirations to keep its troops in the Sinai.
Dr. Kissinger said that he understood. He would not insist on this point. In the framework of what we are trying to achieve with these principles, it would be all right to drop that point. He felt that the only way to get the talks started was to be sufficiently vague. He agreed that we could eliminate the phrase.
Dr. Kissinger noted that paragraphs 5 and 6 were agreed. At this point, he called attention to the fact that a paragraph from the May 1972 principles had been dropped. It was the one which read, “The agreements should lead to an end of a state of belligerency and to the establishment of peace.” He explained that we had dropped it because there was reference to "final peace" in the new paragraph 1. We felt that it was not needed.
Foreign Minister Gromyko said he would like to keep that paragraph. It was more favorable to Israel. It might facilitate negotiation. The Foreign Minister asked whether he was being “too pro-Israel."
Dr. Kissinger joked that this was because of the large Jewish population in the Soviet Union. The Foreign Minister acknowledged the quip.
Foreign Minister Gromyko said he wanted to go back to the first paragraph. He had not looked at it carefully. He said that the USSR could not say anything that looked like direct negotiations. Therefore he wanted to insert the idea of “appropriate forms of negotiation which would be agreeable to all the parties concerned.” Dr. Kissinger indicated that we could probably work something out along these lines.
On paragraph 7, Foreign Minister Gromyko said that it would be necessary to include some reference to the UN decisions. Perhaps the same language could be used as had been proposed for the draft communiqué"appropriate decisions of the UN on this question."
Dr. Kissinger summed up saying that we had simply maintained some of the principles from the May 1972 draft. He felt that paragraph 4 is manageable. He felt that on paragraph 1, the US side would have no objection in principle to a comprehensive settlement as long as it could take place in stages.
Dr. Kissinger indicated that he would try to produce another draft before the 2:00 p.m. meeting that would represent a US revision taking into account the informal comments made by the Foreign Minister and the Ambassador.
Ambassador Dobrynin suggested that perhaps brackets could be used to show any point that had not been resolved in the discussion.
Foreign Minister Gromyko said he would prefer not to show the draft as Dr. Kissinger had handed it to him to General Secretary Brezhnev. He would, however, like to be able to report to the General Secretary and suggested that Dr. Kissinger reshape his proposal along the lines of the comments he had made. If a new US version could be handed to him in the afternoon, he would talk to the General Secretary about it. Then Ambassador Dobrynin could continue talks with Dr. Kissinger after his return to Washington.
Foreign Minister Gromyko reflected that there is one new element in the principles—namely, the element of negotiation. He said that he would not exclude some form of negotiation along the lines of the Rhodes talks. A long time ago, he recalled, Foreign Minister Riad of Egypt had told him that the Arabs would not exclude talks along the lines of the Rhodes formula. (Note: The "Rhodes Formula" refers to the negotiating procedures used at Rhodes during negotiation of the Arab-Israeli armistice agreements in 1949.) He said the Arabs had changed their position on Rhodes-type talks in 1969 only after the Israelis had made certain public comments. He repeated that he did not exclude the possibility that the Arabs might agree to the Rhodes formula. He noted that the talks might not necessarily take place at Rhodes; they might just as well take place at the UN in New York. He felt this problem would be taken care of in the draft if we could say that "appropriate forms of negotiation should be used acceptable to the parties concerned." If anything is said that the Arabs interpret as “direct negotiations,” then any progress we made on the other points would be spoiled by the negative reaction the Arabs would have to this one.
The meeting concluded with the understanding that Dr. Kissinger would revise the principles and bring a copy to the afternoon meeting.
Harold H. Saunders 12
131. Memorandum by the President's Assistant for National
Security Affairs (Kissinger) for the President's File
San Clemente, June 23, 1973.
Meeting with Leonid I. Brezhnev, General Secretary of the Central Committee,
General Secretary Brezhnev: [Showing the President a copy of the Soviet-proposed non-aggression treaty with China.] I am doing this as a rebuff to the slander of the Chinese. They claim we are amassing an army to threaten them. If the Chinese do not accept it, we will publish the text of this with appropriate commentary.
I will tell you of my study of Chinese history. The Chinese have implemented agreements with others only rarely. Even when they implement them, they interpret them in ways that deprive them of meaning. I would like to quote one example of the peculiar nature of the Chinese. Often the Chinese hide things from the rest of the world. They managed to hide the death of an Emperor for a whole year. There was a Russian cartographer, Semomas by name, who wrote a treatise on the Chinese. He said they are treacherous and spiteful, capable of destroying a whole people.
They are not honorable. We at one time had good relations with China. We did a lot to aid the Chinese. It was vast. We built up their metallurgical industry and their building industry. What we received in return is well known. Once they asked us to build a metallurgical plant in Mao's home town. As we did at that time, we provided experts to implement the request. And it so happened that the right man for this job was my brother. He was requested to go to China. He was summoned to Moscow from Dniepropetrovsk. So my brother asked me to
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 75, Country Files-Europe-USSR, Brezhnev Visit Memcons, June 18–25, 1973. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Printed from an uninitialed copy. Brackets are in the original. According to the President's Daily Diary, the meeting ended at 12:26 p.m. (Ibid., White House Central Files) In his memoirs, Kissinger noted that this meeting was unscheduled and "descended upon us without warning." (Years of Upheaval, p. 264)
help him to stay home because he didn't want to leave his daughter. I urged him to go, in the name of higher authority. So he went and built their metallurgical plant. Mao you know is a strange man; he is afraid to speak to his people. My brother was one of thousands of experts in China. Suddenly they started a big-power chauvinist campaign against us. Mao has a treacherous character.
I speak frankly because you are my friend. .
You know, during the war we gave aid to the Vietnamese side knowing they could not impose their will on you. After the 23rd Party Congress, I spoke to Le Duan and Pham Van Dong. I told these people: Dear friends, to fight is your business. But you must soon negotiate with the U.S. In all our talks with the Vietnamese we urged negotiations, although I knew the Vietnamese were very dependent on the Chinese. I would like to express my satisfaction at the outcome of the negotiations. But the credit goes also to you and other countries. Let us not forget the sort of policy the Chinese were trying to teach other countries, especially to Vietnam. You may remember how strongly I spoke to you in Moscow, and I ask you to forgive what I said. Due to my influence, you started peace talks again. You will remember how we handled the negotiations in Paris. But we know also that the Chinese are an exceptionally sly and perfidious people.
We will wait with publishing the document, partly because we don't want to distract from this visit.
The feelings of distrust and disrespect I feel for the current Chinese leadership were reinforced by the Cultural Revolution and their reaction to U.S.-Soviet détente. What sort of leaders are they who so oppress their people while making propaganda all around the world? In our modern time, gigantic trials were held in public squares and thousands watched public beheadings. What ideas roam in the heads of such leaders? These are people who can craftily conceal their real aims. I am not proposing anything, but any student of China feels the same way. Kuznetsov and Chuikov feel the same way.? We have doctors who worked with Mao and wrote a special report on his health. All agree on the Chinese danger.
I tell you this because, while we each have a right to our individual view on China, we must understand each other. We have normal state relations with China, but the reality is different. Soon you will have state relations with China. This is your business. I would like to ask you if after some time we could exchange views about Chinese reaction to
Presumably Vasily Vasilyevich Kuznetsov and Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov. Kuznetsov was Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister. Chuikov became Marshal of the Soviet Union in March 1955 and served as Chief of Civil Defense from 1961 to 1972.