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Minister Gromyko: I've been concerned with American affairs for
Secretary Kissinger: But you couldn't have predicted what is happening in America this last year!
Minister Gromyko: No.
Minister Gromyko: Tomorrow I have to repay my courtesies to the Egyptian Foreign Minister and I invited him to come over in the afternoon to discuss some matters connected with the Middle East conference. So I leave the day after tomorrow, in the morning.
Secretary Kissinger: Ambassador Bunker will be here. He has lunch with Vinogradov. He leaves and will return on Monday. He'll have a younger deputy, Sterner," for the time being, then someone else.
Minister Gromyko: When is your Ambassador going to Moscow?
Secretary Kissinger: Oh yes. I had an idea of sending Senator Cooper,' as Ambassador Dobrynin may have told you. But he is practically deaf. So I thought it would be better to send a good professional. Stoessel is very good. I've known him a long time.
Minister Gromyko: He's been there before?
Secretary Kissinger: Yes. We'll have an Ambassador in East Germany, too, if they let us have some property. There is some problem. If they attach importance to having the United States there, we'll send an Ambassador immediately. The only problem is the property. We recognize they have difficulties; they have been very polite. But so far the property they have offered is inadequate.
Minister Gromyko: You will give them property in Washington?
Secretary Kissinger: The problem in Washington is different. They'll have to buy it—but if they need assistance we will give it.
Minister Gromyko: Any problem with building the new structures in Washington and Moscow?
Secretary Kissinger: I have the impression it is no problem. Both yours and ours are too small now.
8 John Sherman Cooper, Republican Senator from Kentucky until 1972; appointed Ambassador to the German Democratic Republic on September 19, 1974.
Minister Gromyko: Before the Revolution, your building in Moscow was the personal chancery of a Russian Ambassador.
Secretary Kissinger: It is about the right size for that, but not for a whole Embassy.
Minister Gromyko: When I was in Washington once for a reception, they had to open up all private apartments on the third floor.
How is the State Department?
Secretary Kissinger: I've moved modern art in. If Rockefeller becomes President, you'll see at Summit things you never saw before. I think the next time you come, you and I should spend a night at his estate.
Minister Gromyko: I knew him in wartime. He was Coordinator for Latin American affairs.
Secretary Kissinger: He has a good chance. He's too old-usually-to run for President. But in 1976 the American people will want calm and experience. Kennedy will make them nervous.
Jackson has a good chance.
Secretary Kissinger: Unfortunately he has a good chance. I'm violently opposed to him.
Minister Gromyko: Kennedy?
Secretary Kissinger: Kennedy will be a candidate but he will be defeated.
(At about 2:40 p.m., the luncheon ended and the group adjourned again to the anteroom).
Minister Gromyko: All right, let us take up some matters.
Minister Gromyko: First of all, I would like to emphasize one point in addition to all that I have already said. I had a long talk with General Secretary Brezhnev before I left for Geneva. Rest assured that the Soviet leadership and personally General Secretary Brezhnev, will strictly follow the line we've taken with the United States, the line first expressed in the Summit meetings in Moscow and the United States and in appropriate agreements and treaties. And to give you greater clarity on this point-and this gives you an insight into his character-General Secretary Brezhnev is a man who strictly keeps his word, and he has strong conviction on that score. I wanted to add that to everything else I've told you in Geneva.
Secretary Kissinger: I have talked to the President, as you did to your General Secretary, before I left, and he tells me to tell you that his policy is fixed, and that his greatest ambition is to make it irreversible during his term of office. And he is determined to continue it and even speed it up—and I may say, in spite of increasing domestic opposition.
We certainly believe that both sides should conduct themselves with assurance, calmly, and without nervousness. There may be in the future, as in the past, forces in the United States and outside your country-and I am sure you know their addresses—to whom the further deepening of our relations will not be to their liking. We must certainly rise above the outlook of those forces and not be limited to the horizons visible to them. We have the ability to do that.
I want to add one other thing. We certainly understand and realize that the domestic situation in the United States is a fairly complex one, although we don't lay any claim to being familiar to it in every detail. But we do regret that fact because we value very highly all we have achieved in our relations. We regret all these problems the President has on his hands and hope they'll soon be a thing of the past. We hope he and those who help him-particularly you—will carry through.
Secretary Kissinger: Let me say that our domestic complexities, except (on] those (matters] requiring legislation, do not affect the day-to-day conduct of our foreign policy. Paradoxically it gives us greater freedom of action, because our opponents are afraid to attack everything. So let me assure you on behalf of the President that we will continue on our course.
Minister Gromyko: I am certainly very gratified to hear those remarks, and they serve to buttress the prospects ahead of us.
Now about the next Summit meeting, despite all the complexities that exist, including those you referred to, we—and particularly General Secretary Brezhnev-firmly stand by our line of bringing about this next Summit meeting. Our two powers have such profound and diversified interests, and we are both faced with such serious tasks in the development of bilateral relations between our two countries and in the international field-that on no account must anything be done to prevent that meeting from being held. We are firmly in favor of holding the meeting with President Nixon in the Soviet Union, and we will do all in our power to hold that meeting and make it a success.
Secretary Kissinger: That is exactly our attitude.
Minister Gromyko: Very good. As regards timing, we believe the most appropriate time could be either the very end of May or the month of June. Actually, from our point of view June is the best, and I will try to explain why. Before that period, we would have certain events, including domestic events, which could divert attention from the meeting to a certain degree and in a way impede the preparations and the holding. It is a matter of convenience. Later, July, would also
create complexities. It is a period of very intense activity in agriculture and in the economy generally, all of which would require the attention of all our leaders and personally of General Secretary Brezhnev. Economic activity all around the country, especially because of the diversity of our country. So June would be the optimal time, the most convenient time.
Secretary Kissinger: How about September?
Minister Gromyko: September would be less convenient precisely from that point of view.
Secretary Kissinger: We had not studied it. In principle, June will be possible. I will check with the President and then tell Dobrynin. The only concern I have is whether we'll have enough of our work done in time for that meeting.
Minister Gromyko: That question can arise regardless of timing. If we can prepare adequately by September, we can do it by June also. In the Soviet Union, given the climatic conditions, the fall is a period of most intensive activity. Those are our views, but the President can think it over.
Secretary Kissinger: I will discuss it with the President, but in principle I think June or late May will be acceptable, particularly if we have the determination to do what has to be done.
Minister Gromyko: I certainly take note of what you say and will act accordingly.
Now, about the actual work in preparation for the meeting. We believe in that context we should give effect to the understanding reached on your visit to the Soviet Union. We attach great importance to your visit. And General Secretary Brezhnev said this to me specifically before I came to Geneva, having in mind my talks with you.
Secretary Kissinger: I appreciate this very much and I would be prepared to come at a time we can work out.
Minister Gromyko: That's good. As for timing, we believe we can agree to set approximate dates towards the end of January or the first ten days or first half of February. The best possibility for us would be the first ten days in February.
Secretary Kissinger: That would be the best time for me too. Say between the 5th and the 10th. And I will make a concrete proposal to Dobrynin when I come back. But in that timeframe.
Minister Gromyko: Very well. Let's proceed from that general understanding then, and abide by it.
Secretary Kissinger: Good.
Minister Gromyko: As regards the place of your meetings with the General Secretary, we suggest Zavidovo. It is a place that has already won some prestige in international affairs, and you have been there. With your agreement, I'll inform the General Secretary. As regards the necessary communications with Washington, you are familiar with the communications last time.
Secretary Kissinger: We like the arrangement in Zavidovo very much, and if you can arrange the communications, that is fine. There is a small problem with the press because I am Secretary of State—but we can leave them in Moscow and just give them reports.
Minister Gromyko: As regards correspondents, we can leave that. It's not important.
Now, as regards the problem of the agenda for the next Summitand the agenda for the discussions with you, as your meeting will be in the context of preparations for the Summit-I would like to add a few words in addition to what we discussed at the UN General Assembly and when I was in Washington and met with the President.
[Both drank glasses of cognac).
I Minister Gromyko: What comes to mind in this respect-and this is something I talked about in great detail with General Secretary Brezhnev-we'll be at that time at a certain point as far as the Middle East is concerned. So certainly this has to be on the agenda as a major item.
Secretary Kissinger: No question. And in much better conditions than last time. Because if there is progress, so much the better, and if there is no progress, it will be all the more important for our two leaders to break the deadlock.
Minister Gromyko: We should put out of our head talk of no progress.
Secretary Kissinger: I agree. There will be progress, and we will be able to envisage the final outcome by then. There will be progress by the Spring
Minister Gromyko: That is something that must be achieved.
Secretary Kissinger: I agree. It will be a much better discussion than last time.
Minister Gromyko: Then, of course, the question will surely arise of strategic arms and a possible new agreement on that score, the question of conversion of the provisional agreement into a permanent one. I recall great conviction and forcefulness with which the President spoke on this, in the summer with General Secretary Brezhnev and in the fall with me. We are certainly in favor of such new agreements and ar