288. Memorandum From Director of Central Intelligence Helms to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

SUBJECT

  • Further Developments on Egyptian Suggestion for Secret Talks on the Middle East Crisis

1. The following developments have occurred since [2 lines not declassified] 5 April 1972 that secret contact between the Presidencies of our two governments would be a prerequisite to renewing serious discussion on a Middle East settlement, as outlined in my memorandum dated 7 April 1972.2

2. On 29 April 1972, [2½ lines not declassified]. This message acknowledged that there was interest in exploring the possibility of a secret, high-level meeting between senior representatives of the two governments; suggested that an emissary of President Sadat would be welcome in the United States, if a meeting were deemed mutually desirable; and indicated that the timing of such a meeting could clearly not be before the President returned from his trip in June. [less than 1 line not declassified] advised that he had given the foregoing message to President Sadat shortly after the latter returned from Moscow in late April.3

3. On 16 May 1972, [1 line not declassified] that President Sadat is still considering the matter of new, secret contacts and would respond to our message in June, recognizing that little can happen before then in any case because of President Nixon’s trip. In discussing [less than 1 line not declassified] the decision of the Egyptian Government to reduce the size of the U.S. Interest Section in Cairo, [less than 1 line not declassified] [Page 1002] stressed that this is not related to the pending proposal for secret contacts. [6½ lines not declassified]

4. The Department of State has not been informed of this exchange.4

Richard Helms 5
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 131, Country Files, Middle East. Secret; Sensitive. All brackets are in the original except those indicating text that remains classified.
  2. Not found.
  3. Sadat visited Moscow April 27–29.
  4. At the beginning of the year, Rogers met with Haldeman and Mitchell to discuss his “lack of trust” in Kissinger because Kissinger had previously “lied to him” and had “admitted it.” Haldeman wrote in his diary: “We agreed we had to set up a method so that Rogers would keep us posted on all the meetings he has with the Soviets or the Israelis, etc. Rogers agreed that he would, if K[issinger] would notify Rogers about all of his meetings, unless the P[resident] tells him not to notify. The basic principle to apply is whatever one of the three knows on foreign policy, all three should, between K, Rogers, and the P. ( Haldeman Diaries, Multimedia Edition, January 11, 1972) On January 16, Rogers had another conversation with Haldeman in which he agreed that “State people have to be kept out of some things” but that he, the Secretary of State, should not. Rogers added that the “main thing” was that Kissinger did not keep him “advised on all that he’s doing.” (Ibid., January 16, 1972)
  5. Helms signed “Dick” above his typed signature.