Ken Stein Interview with Dr. Harold Saunders, Washington, D.C.
L-R background: Simcha Dinitz, Harold Saunders, Henry Kissinger, Aharon Yariv, Gold Meir and Richard Nixon, November 1973, Washington, DC (Israel Government Press Office)


This interview focuses on Saunders engagement with Henry Kissinger, the Nixon and Ford administrations, and less on the Carter administration. He dwells mostly on the period from 1973-1976 and jumps back and forth in the time periods between 1973 and 1979.  He shares his views of U.S. negotiations between Egypt and Israel, including contacts at times with Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Syria. He also offers insights into the personalities of key figures.  Saunders reminds the reader that a key purpose for the U.S. organizing the 1973 Geneva Middle East peace conference was to allow Kissinger to choreograph the first E-I agreement in January 1974, keeping the Russians away from the talks. He intimates that after the October 1974 Arab Rabat Summit conference which designated PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people, that discussions at the State Department began that looked at Arab Israeli negotiations aiming again at Egyptian Israeli understandings, because the PLO and Israel were not going to negotiate with each other. Moreover, Sadat had already said to the Americans in 1971 that he was interested in an Israeli staged withdrawal from Sinai. Saunders reaffirms this possible unfolding of phased withdrawals in his longer interview with done in 1993, November 1993 with the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training  Foreign Affairs Oral  History Project.

In this interview Saunders provides his opinion that in February 1977, though Vance was truly committed the search for a comprehensive Arab Israeli peace, that during his visit to Israel, where Saunders  participated, that Vance did not know about all the details of Arab-Israeli negotiations previously. Vance took copious notes from each of the leaders he met with on that trip. We also learn from Carter’s meetings with President Assad in Geneva in May 1977, that Carter admitted a lack of knowledge about the complexity of the Palestinian community beyond the PLO.

After the Camp David negotiations in September 1978, Saunders was tasked with trying to persuade the other Arab countries that the accords signed between Egypt and Israel were not only different from Israel Prime Minister Begin’s autonomy proposal but that these countries would be better off not attending the Arab League’s November 1978 summit in Baghdad, during which the Arab world would discuss its response to the signing of the accords. Saunders tried to persuade Arab leaders, particularly King Hussein that there would be a moratorium on Israeli settlement building in the territories. The Israelis were livid that Saunders had given the US interpretation of Begin’s promises to Arab leaders; Saunders tells us he did so to persuade the Saudis and others not to go to the Baghdad Arab summit conference and condemn Sadat’s outreach to the Israelis.

One story of Saunders’ that stands out is connected to a strategy paper Saunders wrote while at the NSC, at Kissinger’s request, regarding President Nixon’s first trip to the Middle East, during which he’d be going to five different countries. “[Kissinger] once told me the absence of — the only praise you’ll get is the absence of criticism.” That paper not only elicited rare praise, but led to Kissinger’s next request, that he, and not the bureau, write five country papers in time for Kissinger’s breakfast meeting with Nixon the following day. “I found myself at nine o’clock that night sitting with five country directors…the pretender from the NSC staff…” Together, the “pretender” and the country directors worked late into the night to produce the papers. But in the end, Saunders was sure that Kissinger never even read them 

Harold “Hal” Saunders’s joined the National Security Council (NSC) in 1961 and served as the MSC’s Mideast expert through the June 1967 war. He was an extraordinary word smith and possessed unique memory of Arab-Israeli negotiations.  He later joined Henry Kissinger’s Middle East shuttles in October 1973 and worked along with Roy Atherton in drafting the disengagement agreements between Egypt and Israel for the next two years. In 1974 he was named deputy assistant secretary of state for the Near East and North Africa, and later served as the assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research (1975-1978) and for Near East affairs (1978-1981). He was a key ‘drafter’ at Camp David in 1978, helping Carter in shaping the 23 drafts of the Accord, as Carter worked with an Egyptian and an Israeli in hammering out those texts.   

Ken Stein Interview with Dr. Harold Saunders, Washington, D.C.

(12 May 1992)

KWS: What I want to do is I want to focus initially on Geneva 1973. I want to focus on what you did, what you know, where you were. What was your position vis-à-vis Henry during — just by the ’73 war, and during the war?

HS: Well, I was on the National Security Council staff assisting the person dealing with the Middle East. starting from the beginning of the [U.S. President Richard] Nixon administration Henry [Kissinger] hired me during the transition as the Nixon administration began. And I stayed on the NSC [National Security Council] staff even after he became secretary of state that fall.

KWS: The fall of ’73.

HS: The fall of ’73.

KWS: The fall of ’73.

HS: Yeah, he became secretary of state. It was probably about in late August or early September and he became secretary of state sometime in September, about a month before the ’73 War broke out. But in any, in any case, when he moved to the state department, a couple people moved with him, and Brent Scowcroft who was taking over the management at the NSC — although Henry still retained a second hat as NSC advisor, as well as secretary of state — Brent didn’t want just a mass exodus from the staff, so I stayed on the staff, and from that base, flew on his every trip to the Middle East, except the one where he went at the end of the war to Moscow, and then to Israel and back. That was the, the period of the war — 

KWS: That was the one that Joe [Sisco] was on.

HS: Joe and Roy Atherton were there. I was not because my wife had died the day before the war started and I had not — they asked me whether I wanted to go on the trip and I said [unintelligible] right then. Then, after that though, I flew on all the Kissinger trips, uh, from the early November one on, through Geneva, and so on. From an NSC base until the middle of July 1974, when I then became deputy assistant secretary of the state department. I did make the move over to the department, but, I was really working with Henry.

KWS: You were deputy assistant secretary.

HS: In 1974 through the end of November ’75. Then I became director of Intelligence and Research at the state department and came back to the Near Eastern Bureau on April 11, 1978, to be the assistant secretary, succeeding Roy Atherton. Uh, and then was the assistant secretary in Washington during the [U.S. President Jimmy] Carter Administration.

KWS: You gave your testimony, the real interesting testimony before the Congress, as deputy assistant secretary.

HS: That’s right.

KWS: The one that received recognition, notoriety.

HS: Yeah, November 18th or 19th, something like that. ’75, just before, a couple weeks before I became [unintelligible]. ’74. Must be ’74, I guess. No. ’75. I thought [unintelligible] is August-September ’75. 

KWS: ’75.

HS: And that statement, the November after that I became director of Intelligence and Research on December 1st of ’75. But I flew, while I was I&R. There wasn’t a lot going on after December ’75 because of election year. But when I stayed in that job when Vance came in and then I flew with him on all his Middle East trips, even with an I&R base.

KWS: And Bill Quandt was your number two at NSC?

HS: Uh —

KWS: — during the ’73 War? 

HS: Yeah, yeah, he was.

KWS: Bill was there from ’72 to ’74.

HS: Yeah, he was acting in effect during the ’73 War because I was out of the office getting my [unintelligible] problem and then he was at the NSC while we were flying on the, on the trip. He left in the summer of ’74 just about the time I left to go to the State Department [unintelligible].

KWS: Was the Geneva conference a conference? Or was it a rubric?

HS: Well, my, my, uh, favorite thought about the Geneva conference was that it was meeting for a day and what was more important was what led up to it and what followed it than the meeting itself. And I am more excited about talking about what followed it, but only in a very simple sense because you know about the, the disengagement agreements and all that. But what was really exciting to me in the concept of the Geneva conference was an idea that formed in January of ’74 during the first Kissinger shuttle which produced the first Egyptian Israeli disengagement agreement. When it came time to name that agreement, and to write the text of the agreement, [Anwar] Sadat insisted that it was an agreement in the framework of the Geneva conference.

KWS: And that’s how it was signed.

HS: Well, I think — I unfortunately don’t have the text here, but if you go back and look at the text you will see either in the preamble or somewhere up front there, an agreement in the framework of the Geneva conference. When it came to May of ’74 — I may be wrong, it may — those words may not be in the Syrian Israeli disengagement agreement text, but you remember that the group that met to work out the details of the implementation of the Syrian-Israeli disengagement agreement was a group of military people that met in Geneva in the working group that flowed from the Geneva conference. So, now, through those two disengagement agreements, there was a very direct, functional, physical follow-on to the conference and even after Sinai II, we had a two-week meeting where diplomats and soldiers from Egypt and Israel, under the chairmanship of [UN] General [Ensio] Siilasvuo with [UN Assistant Secretary General] James Jonah present, and with me present representing the United States because we had mediated the agreement. Uh, those — that meeting took place also in Geneva. So, for the three disengagement agreements you have very direct connections with the Geneva conference in both name and in terms of the physical return to Geneva for implement— 

KWS: Why did Sadat want to stay within the framework of [unintelligible]?

HS: Because — I think even then he was worried about something that we all know was a very prominent worry by the time of Camp David — and that was looking as if he was going it alone. And so he wanted the mantle of an international conference, took less than the shuttle. So, what this did — I don’t remember when — 

KWS: That’s — what did Henry think about this? Henry didn’t mind it.

HS: He bought it. I don’t remember — 

KWS: I would imagine [unintelligible] he could have some control.

HS: Kept us in control but it also kept an international umbrella over him. The United States wasn’t running off and stealing the show if you kept that rubric, kept that main umbrella over. I remember thinking at some point, I don’t remember when I coined this phrase but we did talk. There were other phrases that were coined during this period like “peace process,” “shuttle diplomacy,” and so on that became well-known phrases. One phrase that did not become widely used was talking about what we were doing in the shuttles as “a conference without walls.”

KWS: You said at the USIP [United States Institute of Peace] meeting in April, on April 16, ’91, “The Geneva conference wasn’t ever really a conference. It was a concept and this is relevant today. I remember Sadat insisted in the first disengagement agreement that if he calls, and I think the words of the agreement are given in the framework of the Geneva conference. The conference lived through the shuttles and the treaties from the agreement.” Not like you haven’t said it before. You also noted that the terms of reference for the Geneva conference were being written while you in negotiation with [Syrian President Hafez al-] Assad about the contents of the invitations. In other words, you said as late as the December 15th meeting in Damascus [that] you guys were sort of pasting them together. In terms of reference which were not like on the road to Madrid that was a painstaking effort, you were doing this in the last moment. What were the terms of reference? How did they evolve?

HS: Well, I have two answers to that. I think the — first of all, the idea of the Geneva conference first came up between Kissinger and [Andrei] Gromyko in that whatever it was October 20th, 21st meeting in Moscow where the draft of proposal of 338 was produced, the idea of having a, of co-chairing a conference, was agreed then. Then the reference of 338 to, whatever it was, returning to negotiations immediately and so on was given body by the agreement between Kissinger and Gromyko which co-chaired the conference, the peace conference. So, from that moment on, the concept was born. But, you remember there were two Kissinger trips between the end of the war and the convening of the conference. The first one — this is the first point I want to make — the first one was in early November, if I recall correctly. It was, that was the moment of Kissinger’s first meeting with Sadat and if you read Henry’s book his account of that meeting, but it was in that meeting that Sadat and Kissinger began to devise a strategy which became ultimately the strategy of interim steps, which were of course the shuttle agreements, the interim agreements [unintelligible]. The larger context and strategy came out of that meeting and — I’ve forgotten how many interim contacts with Israelis we had in the month of November, whether the foreign minister came to Washington or what — Kissinger did not go to Israel. In that early November trip, he worked out the terms, in addition to the strategy —

KWS: In fact, Joe flew to — 

HS: Joe and I flew over, together. And then, uh, flew down and joined Henry who had by then started for Saudi Arabia. No, that’s part of something else.

KWS: Didn’t you guys meet once in Aswan before December? No, no, I’m sorry. Aswan, Aswan was between Geneva and the interim agreement [unintelligible].

HS: That’s where Sadat was during the — 

KWS: That’s right. So, the picture of you and Kissinger and Sadat — 

HS: No. Sadat was at Aswan. That’s where the first disengagement agreement, that was the end of the very first shuttle. Anyway, my point is that Kissinger — I can’t remember when Kissinger threw the Israelis into the strategy, between the November trip and the early December trip. It must have been, uh — 

KWS: Way back from Moscow when he approached Golda [Meir].

HS: That was before this trip, too.

KWS: Yes, but that’s — according to Epi Evron, that’s when Golda first said, “What is this conference thing?” You know, “What is 338? You never consulted with us,” and she took him off on the sideline when he first arrived and bit his ear off. And Epi told the story. He was quite lucid and potent. And that’s when she agreed to it, but only on the condition that it would be direct discussion [unintelligible].

HS: But, but Kissinger took that concept and elaborated it quite fully with Sadat. But I’m saying now, I’m not sure, he must have had some contact through the [unintelligible], through the ambassador in Washington, something that began — 

KWS: November 1st to 6th, she was here. 

HS: Okay.

KWS: She came with [Aharon] Yariv who was still negotiating, had started Kilometer 101 [talks] but hadn’t continued with it. He came with, she was here — 

HS: But that was still before the trip to Sadat.

KWS: That’s right. And [Moshe] Dayan was here. And she, of course, was more interested in the POWs than she was interested in anything else. You know, the conference thing was- in fact she was cool to the conference because elections were coming. She was very cool to it, in fact, you know, I’m not sure this is something — 

HS: But Kissinger took this whole concept and the idea of interim steps, and so on, a lot farther in that visit to Cairo, I think, than he had in these discussions — 

KWS: What was it about the interim steps that made Henry focus on them? What was it? 

HS: Well, in the November and the December meetings with Sadat, you remember all the fussing around about the October 21 line. And part of what Joe and I took over to Golda was an agreement to stabilize those lines. But Kissinger may have said in November, certainly said in December, uh, [that] Sadat wanted to get the Israelis back to the October 21 line. Kissinger said, “You know, with a great deal of effort we could probably do that. If you give me a little bit of time, with about the same amount of effort, I think we could take the first step toward Israeli withdrawal.”

KWS: He said that to Sadat in November?

HS: I can’t remember whether, how far he went in November. Certainly, he said it by December, because that’s what, that was the basis for Sadat’s holding in place without pushing any farther the Israelis — 

KWS: The concept of interim stages, Hal, was not something that came out of the ’73 War, but something that — 

HS: I understand that.

KWS: I mean the idea was out here in the early ’70s already. 

HS: Oh, yeah. Yeah. The inner canal deal that didn’t work, and so on. Sure. The idea was — but the idea, that idea was there and there was a — you could trace that, the ship, from the package deals, of 242 in ’67, ’68 to the interim, shift to the interim step in ’71 down to, well, ’73, ’74. But the point was that the, this was not just to be an interim step, it was an interim step which would be the first stage of Israeli withdrawal and the first step toward peace. Really, in concept, was articulated — 

KWS: Did you know that [Soviet Ambassador Anatoly] Dobrynin visited Kissinger at the State Department around, just before he went off to Moscow, the 20th, the 21st of October. And the [unintelligible] book reports he spoke with Kissinger about Israel returning to the June 4, ’67 borders, but withdrawal in stages. Stages.

HS: I think, uh — 

KWS: Now apparently that’s also what Gromyko spoke to Sadat about it when he was in Cairo between the 16th and 18th of October. They met five times in that period. [Unintelligible] has a wonderful article in the International Herald Tribune [unintelligible] that period of time of Soviet involvement with Egypt, and that, from other sources as well, it seems that this concept was repeated: This was something that the Soviets were willing to live with. Well, from a Sadat point of view, if that’s what the Soviets were willing to live with, and Henry can live with what the Soviets are willing to live with, and he get can get the Israelis to concede to it, seems to be, there seems to be a building consensus around this notion about interim phase, staged, however you want to — and it was also step-by-step. I mean it, it crystallized. Although the idea was out there previously, everyone was now talking about it from one vantage point or another and there seems to have been this crystallization of this notion of this step-by-step, but as you say in the context of “This is the first stage of several stages which would —”

HS: What I think what was different, and what was additional, not different, what was additional in the Kissinger-Sadat agreement was that you’ve got the United States agreeing with the president of Egypt to follow this strategy, but to see it as a strategy integrating the interim steps into, with the United States playing a central role. 

KWS: Did Sadat ever get weary of that process?

HS: So, the answer may lie in how he felt the day before he died. But, uh, he stuck with it. Camp David was a part of this process. Camp David was another interim step.

KWS: Right.

HS: Excuse me. Camp David was a further design for more interim steps. Maybe it’s an interim step in itself. I don’t know. Camp David designed the next five, or four, whichever it was, interim steps.

KWS: And how — and of course, Assad was closed to that concept.

HS: Assad did not — Assad’s opposition became apparent only when the, um, second Egyptian-Israeli agreement became a reality. Assad was with the process through his disengagement agreement through the summer of ’74. We were talking then, as you remember, about a Jordanian step. If there had been a Jordanian step sometime in ’74, then symbolically we would have completed the circuit by, by then. An interim step for Egypt, one for Syria, one for Jordan. Um, and then I think Assad would have wanted to go back to, go back to Geneva figuratively. In any case, it was only when we went to the second Egyptian-Israeli disengagement agreement, which became apparent around January of ’75, that Assad really expressed his disagreement with what we were doing. I remember — I think it was January ’75. I could be off by a month or so, but I remember, uh — when Kissinger made it clear he thought he’d go to a second Egyptian agreement route, Assad explained why he disagreed. And why he disagreed was his fear, expressed on many occasions later, that if there were not a united Arab front — everybody else made agreements, nobody paid attention to Syria — you, uh, have to preserve a united Arab front, command Israel’s attention. And, um, he was afraid Syria would be left to the side and I still remember after his explaining why he, as president of Syria couldn’t agree to — of course if Kissinger was by then calling — uh, Assad said something like that, like this: “I profoundly disagree with what you are doing but I don’t want it to affect our relationship.” Very civilized statement. But, uh, through ’74, Assad was still part of the dialogue in which we were trying to decide how to figure out what the next step should be. The whole business of — I read, you know, a monograph of that, when I was a graduate student, on the Sinai II agreement which goes through this whole, whole thing: the decision, how to take the third step, what the third step would look like. If that would by then [unintelligible]. But, uh, in all this walking around your basic question: what was the Geneva conference? You might say, I suppose, prudently, that you needed a meeting for a day, or for whatever, in order to create a mystical something-or-other that would provide the umbrella for all the rest of it. 

KWS: Did Henry understand that vision? I mean did he envision, I mean — when this was discussed in late October, Sadat raised the idea of a conference when he spoke to the [unintelligible]. The U.S. State Department hadn’t heard the word “conference” out of Sadat’s mouth. It sort of evolved in a period of two or three weeks, to use it as a means to an end. Certainly not [unintelligible]. Henry understood where it was headed. He also understood that he would be excluding the Soviets. Even though they would be participants, they were essentially going to be [unintelligible].

HS: I honestly don’t know. I honestly don’t know. I don’t know whether he had that strategy fully in mind, that he worked, worked through that.

KWS: Plus it evolves over time. You don’t sit down one day and develop a strategy. You go home and you think about it. You stop at a red light and it dawns on you. And that’s how it evolves.

HS: That’s right. It goes back to the way of the question that started all of this, as part of our conversation: how were the terms of reference written? And what I was saying was that in that first meeting between Sadat and Kissinger — in a sense, they’re thinking about this longer term strategy of a series of interim steps, in getting the ball rolling, changing perceptions on both sides, uh, a little bit of an agreement here, which means the obvious: it would be possible to do more, and so on. Uh, in effect, that was a part of the terms of reference for the Geneva conference, not for the meeting in the city of Geneva necessarily, but for what was going to follow. Now, that’s probably, technically, outside the scope of an answer to your question, writing the terms of reference — 

KWS: Not only a physical umbrella, it was a conceptual umbrella.

HS: Yeah, that’s right. But you needed the physical meeting to give a reality to the conceptual umbrella. But the conceptualization that I’m talking about, is this strategy that I’m talking about, was really part of the terms of reference for the conference but it was never written as part of the terms of reference for the conference. And the technical answer to your question, I think, probably doesn’t come out of that October, uh excuse me, November, meeting, but — And I can’t remember the details, but somehow what was done between then and the December trip, that is the pre-Geneva December trip, was circulating the real terms of reference which were in the form of a letter from the secretary general of the United Nations inviting people to come to a conference. Now the letter was not written by the secretary general, it was drafted by the U.S. team and — 

KWS: Did you draft it?

HS: I don’t know which of us, you know. All of us had a hand in it, I can’t remember. But probably, Roy Atherton and Joe Sisco at the Department, I was still in the NSC, but uh, Joe the old [unintelligible] was more likely to, he would have done the first draft of that, but it was a letter from the secretary general inviting people to come to a conference. And, uh, I don’t remember all the issues involved in, you know, the draft, but the letter, of course, contained the, the rules of the road for the conference, who would be invited and all that sort of thing. Well, you have the Syrian story, when Assad took the letter by the — 

KWS: “One problem, I’m not going.”

HS: Yeah, the last sentence is [unintelligible]. Anyway, that’s what he meant. But it was in that, that whole trip was a rather intense exchange on the terms of reference, and I can, I don’t remember the sequence of events anymore, but I can remember being in Lisbon or Madrid, then Henry being on the phone back to the ambassador in Israel, trying to get the Israeli finishing touches on this letter so that it could be worked out. Then we, then we — it was really the eleventh hour, I can’t remember. I don’t think we, I don’t think we came home between that trip and Geneva. I think we just [unintelligible] according to the draft [unintelligible].

KWS: I think some of you guys wanted to get home for Christmas. 

HS: Well, but this is, I mean that was later, but right now, as I said I think the December trip just folded into, that the December trip to write the formal terms of reference, i.e., the letter of invitation was the, literally the fight for Geneva. I mean, it was gonna happen — 

KWS: Why, wouldn’t it [unintelligible]?

HS: Very, very bold or something, anyway.

KWS: [Laughs.]

HS: Anyway, that letter was probably the, the, the terms of reference.

KWS: What was Henry’s intention for the UN role, [unintelligible] the U.S. intention for the UN role, other than just issuing invitations?

HS: I think, I think that was it. And I think that was partly also taking into account the Israeli feeling about the UN, so —

KWS: Why do we get this UN Resolution 344? A resolution that was passed [unintelligible], which called for essentially the Security Council Resolution, which essentially called for the Secretary General to issue invitations to the Geneva conference. You at the USIP meeting said, “I don’t think I even remember it being an issue.”

HS: It’s funny that I say that [unintelligible]. I still don’t remember.

KWS: I mean it must have been, you know, so — 

HS: It was [unintelligible]. What was the date of it?

KWS: 15th of December. The same day that you guys were, were [unintelligible].

HS: I suppose it was something that the secretary general — 

KWS: I mean, he did it to protect himself, for cover.

HS: [Unintelligible] run down the road.

KWS: What about Palestinian discussion with, with Sadat? What did Sadat say about the Palestinians [unintelligible]? Did he insist that they be there, was he willing to say, you know, maybe not now, maybe later? 

HS: I don’t remember a lot about that because it frustrated Golda [unintelligible] and I remember it being a big issue by that time. We were still short of Rabat.

KWS: Well, but the Algiers Summit met at like the end of November ’73. And it didn’t say anything negative about Geneva. It didn’t say negative about a conference. The Jordanians had said before Algiers that they would not go to any conference if they could not represent the interests of the territory. But they ended up going anyway. And essentially, Algiers — what was said at Algiers was later on said at Rabat — essentially, the PLO was the sole representative of the Palestinian people. The only thing was the word “legitimate” was not part of the summit conference [unintelligible] Palestinian [unintelligible] sole representative [unintelligible] legitimate. That came [unintelligible]. Uh, and the Israelis of course said they weren’t going to go [unintelligible. There’s not going be a conference. The, the thing I get from listening to Mordechai Gazit, listening to Epi Evron, to Abba Eban, to Joe is that Palestinian representation wasn’t something that they were really worried about or frightened about. This was, uh, this was something that Sadat wanted, and that Henry wanted, and the Israelis wanted, and they were going to move with it. The Palestinian cause was given, sort of, lip-service. 

HS: I don’t remember, frankly, the Algiers summit that you’re talking about. Whatever the words were, it just did not have the political meaning or effect that the Rabat summit did later on. I, I know that even through the summer of, or July of ’74, you were still getting a different Egyptian, Jordanian statements on the PLO [unintelligible] versus [unintelligible], but, so, uh, whatever the words were, it was not regarded as having the same definitive quality that Rabat had. Rabat — there’s no question — Rabat changed the Jordanian role. I remember going to see [King] Hussein after the Rabat summit, then. That was, as I say, a definitive act by the Arab world saying that the Jordanians would not represent the Palestinians any more. Whatever happened in Algiers, for whatever reason, I don’t really know, that did not have that effect. The Jordanians showed up with Palestinians and the, and the Palestinians spoke at Geneva, as I recall a Palestinian spoke at Geneva, as I recall. [Unintelligible], I mean, part of the Jordanian delegation.

KWS: I think only [Jordanian Prime Minister Zaid] Rifai. I may be wrong, but [unintelligible].

HS: I could be wrong too. Anyway, they were there.

KWS: Was it difficult to get King Hussein’s participation?

HS: I don’t remember that as being a problem for Israel [unintelligible].

KWS: When you were either in Washington or flying with Henry, umm, was there any notion that this interim concept would also apply to Jordan as well?

HS: I don’t remember when that first came up, but obviously by late May of ’74.

KWS: But there was this, the New York Times reported in January ’74, that there were private discussions between the Israelis and Jordanians about an interim arrangement, not dissimilar from what had happened in [unintelligible], that these discussions were ongoing. But the Israelis had discussions ongoing with the Jordanians anyway. But the Jordanians confirmed, to me, [unintelligible] Rifai [unintelligible] discussions with the Israelis never came. We always wondered, at this point, why we didn’t join the war — we didn’t get anything out of it. Maybe it was a mistake. If we had joined the war, maybe we would have gotten something. But the view, from Atherton— Just listening to you and Joe Sisco speak, it wasn’t in your, you know, this was not a Jordanian-involved thing, it wasn’t a Palestinian-involved thing. This was Egypt and Israel with the United States sort of moving this thing, this cart along.

HS: Well, yeah, but it was — it unfolded, it got broader and broader as he went along. For instance, we finished the Egyptian-Israeli disengagement in mid-January. Then the next — remember, the oil embargo was still on — 

KWS: Until March.

HS: So, the next question was how to get the oil embargo lifted. At that point, of course, the Saudis who had been close to Sadat over the years, had found his presidency in Egypt now for those couple of years much more palatable than Nasser’s. But, what they set out to do then — since their three important relationships were Egypt, the United States, and Syria — so they began saying, “Okay, now you have an interim agreement with, for Egypt. If you could do something with Syria that would be very interesting,” and the understanding that we would go ahead with Syria and that they would try to open doors for us there, actually, led to the lifting of the oil embargo. There was a promise to try to do an interim deal on the Golan, that was part of the understanding that led to the lifting of the embargo. So — 

KWS: So, what — how you’re telling me, the promise to focus on Syria — 

HS: The promise to make a second agreement, a second interim step, one on the Golan, was one the Saudis, I guess out of discussions with the Syrians, found that would be of interest to them, and they pushed Kissinger in that direction and part of it was, “Well, if you can make them move in that direction, that would, that would be a good cover for us to [unintelligible] the embargo.” 

KWS: So, there must have been a sufficient amount of discussion or progress or recognition of Henry’s intent by March. From January to March, there must have been a sufficient amount of discussion because you didn’t sign the agreement until then.

HS: In March, [unintelligible]. All we were saying was, after Egypt, Syria — we would make an effort to make Syria the next, the focus of the next agreement.

KWS: Why did the Saudis want that? What was the Saudi motivation?

HS: I think they wanted to have the three legs to their policy school, as it were: Egypt, the United States, and Syria all in concert. And they of course would be the fourth party to that, that grouping. And, I can’t remember, uh, at this point, exactly when, whether in January Kissinger and Sadat said, “Okay, what’s going be the next step?” and Sadat said, “We’re going to think about Syria, and the Saudis.” Well then, I think that there was a — again memory, Kissinger’s book will tell you this — I think there was a February, there’s a, umm, to the Middle East. And that must have been the one in which the discussions with the Saudis began. Also during that period between January and — there was also — if there was a February visit, there must have been a March-early April visit somewhere in there — and then the May shuttle, but in that period, between the visits, we had several people coming to Washington: Syrians — 

KWS: Syrians, right.

HS: — came over. The Israelis came over, too. And I can’t remember whether it was once or twice, but anyway the groundwork looking toward what kind of agreement it might be with Syria was worked out through those visits and in between those visits.

KWS: Do you remember any of the Syrians who were particularly helpful? I mean representatives.

HS: Well, [Syrian Foreign Minister Abdul-Halim] Khaddam came and — 

KWS: There was also some Syrian military — 

HS: The most interesting person, I can’t remember the name right now, but was the Syrian military intelligence chief, His name escapes me right now [Hikmat al-Shihabi]. But the discussions at that, at that stage really were [about] what you need to do in the early stages of any [unintelligible] begin [unintelligible]. Well, what kind of agreement is this going to be? It’s going to be a disengagement. What kind of disengagement, a big one, a little one? Uh, some of the issues that later came up in the shuttle: we have a [unintelligible] that was at the UN international force there, and such. It wasn’t more detailed than that at that stage, but it was necessary to get Israelis and Syrians talking about (A) some kind of step, any kind of step at all. What kind of step would be significant? And we began, I, I, I’m certain, to put things on [unintelligible] for our own purposes. I can’t remember how that evolved. But my job very early on from the NSC base was to marshal the analytical foundations for peace negotiations and [unintelligible]. Not only having the maps, but when we got to Syria having overhead photography that gave us a topographical sense of the Golan, where the lines might be drawn, and getting [unintelligible]. When we embarked on the summit, we already had maps with lines on them, and so on, although that was only for our own purposes. We didn’t surface any of that for a good two weeks after the summit. But all of that came out of the exchanges between the January through the February-March visits to the Middle East and to the region. There was a lot of work going on.

KWS: Why didn’t Assad go to Geneva?

HS: I don’t know, uh — 

KWS: [Unintelligible] there is. No one can answer the question.

HS: [Unintelligible.] A good answer to the question here. I just — 

KWS: What do you think?

HS: Well, it became — Yeah, I think, through the dialogue over the next year, particularly the kinds of discussions we had in early ’75, as I mentioned a moment ago, Assad’s disagreement with [unintelligible] became clear. I had a picture of Assad being concerned with security in his neighborhood. And he wanted to be the arbiter of things that went on around Syria, but I don’t, uh, really — he wasn’t a strategic Arab world thinker the way Sadat was. You could argue that he could have gone along just to protect his own neighborhood interest, but I just don’t — it may have been politics in his own country, that he should stay close to home and mind Syria’s own backyard, and the other guys on a leash, but if, you know, they want to go do that — 

KWS: Could it be [unintelligible] focus?

HS: [Unintelligible.] I mean I would argue from Anglo-Saxon logic that if you wanted them not to be too focused on Egypt, then you’d be there, and you confuse it. Jordan’s there, Syria’s there. 

KWS: Wouldn’t he know that he would have to come this way anyway? I mean that seems to be Assad’s strategy about politics in general, that, “If I, you know, if I hold my cards, I got the same cards, they’re still going to want my cards.” You know, “Why do I have to rush things?” You know, I mean this is a, I mean consistently over time this is what he’s done. He’s always waited, you know, a little bit longer than the rest. [Unintelligible.]

HS: [Unintelligible.]

KWS: Umm, was there ever any intention to address political issues, on the road to Geneva or out of Geneva? 

HS: [Unintelligible.]

KWS: Issues dealing with, you know, end of belligerency, peace treaties, exchanging ambassadors, cultural relations, something less than full peace. Or was this focus just on, you know, mopping up the details from the ’73 War: disengagement, POWs, separation of forces, [unintelligible]?

HS: Well, I think it was — certainly — the fact is that the meeting in Geneva, the fact that [Soviet Ambassador to Egypt Vladimir] Vinogradov and [U.S. Ambassador at Large Ellsworth] Bunker stayed on after that sort of suggested that there might be further work done there, but certainly none of the things you’re talking about was to be the subject of discussion at that Geneva conference per se, while the [unintelligible].

KWS: Is it because — you know, personalizing — because Henry didn’t want discussions about political results at Geneva?

HS: It really, the purpose of Geneva was to symbolize the launching of the process and the point that you just made has to do with the process that follows. I don’t think, I don’t know that, uh — I’m not sure to what extent Henry


HS: A one-day meeting [unintelligible] substantive dialogue. Uh, let me just add one thing on that point. This may be why I’m sure Henry was sending signals in December that, uh, Kilometer 101 shouldn’t run too fast, get ahead of the process, get out of his control. But — I may be wrong about this, but my, my impression was when we met Sadat the first time in January ’74, at the beginning of what became the first shuttle — I remember, I think I remember, Kissinger saying, “Sadat said, ‘Henry, you stay here and finish this.’” I don’t think we went with the purpose of having a shuttle. It happened. Now, I — maybe Henry didn’t think that I didn’t know, but my impression was we were going for a conversation and Sadat was ready to go and, uh, Henry just— it worked out that [unintelligible].

KWS: I’m going to ask you one more question, Hal, and then I want to tell you something that I found out, but I don’t want to prejudice you. The Kilometer 101 talks — what did you know about them and how they were progressing? 

HS: We got pretty, as I remember, we got pretty full reports on them probably. I don’t know. [Unintelligible] the Israelis [unintelligible]. I had, I had the impression that we got a pretty full reading of what was going on. I remember being very much impressed by the, uh, how far they were going, how serious the discussions were.

KWS: But the discussions weren’t just on who provided the blood, or the blankets, or how many trucks, and who would monitor the coasts. The discussions between [Egyptian General Mohamad Abdel el-] Gamasy and [Israeli General Aharon] Yariv transcended the military. 

HS: Okay.

KWS: Now what impact did that have on you guys who were working in the aftermath of the October war?

HS: Well, what is, what about it [unintelligible] the classic statements about Henry was that he used to slow that down so he could get in control of the process and take it over.

KWS: Is that accurate?

HS: Well, it’s certainly plausible, and I never heard — 

KWS: No, Hal, is that accurate? Is that what Henry wanted to do?

HS: I never heard him say it so I, you know I can’t — 

KWS: Every Israeli I interviewed said that was Henry, yeah [unintelligible]. 

HS: Yeah — 

KWS: Yariv, Yariv told me, he said he had instructions from [Israel] Galili to break off the talks with Gamasy because he was — Galili was told by Golda, who was told directly by Henry that this was going too fast, that you couldn’t have political settlement before you got to Geneva. “What would I have coming out of Geneva? I didn’t even want a political settlement!” Henry had said. And Gazit confirmed it, and so does Epi. And so does [Simcha] Dinitz. Now that may be the Israeli concept of what went on. And maybe they’ve all talked to one another. But they are absolutely convinced that Henry Kissinger pulled the rug out from underneath Kilometer 101. And Hermann [Eilts] said the same thing. I mean Hermann is emphatic about it, absolutely emphatic about it. He said, “There’s no doubt in my mind.” He said, “In fact, he had the Egyptians believing that it was the Israelis who intentionally were going back on their word. See, once again, the Israelis can’t be trusted,” blah, blah, blah. But little did the Egyptians know. [Ismail] Fahmy to this day believes that it was Israeli perfidy that ended Kilometer 101. Interviewing Hermann — I mean that’s Hermann’s view because he just got into Cairo in like November 4th or 5th or something. 

HS: [Unintelligible]. Well, I never heard Henry make those comments. I never heard him say that’s what he was trying to do. 

KWS: In his book he said — he went a little bit further than you did. He said 101 was just going too fast, and this was no time for discussion of political issues. But the Israelis are much more emphatic about it. They say he just pulled it out from under them. He told them, “Stop.”

HS: As I say, it’s plausible — 

KWS: Two and a half hours I spent with Yariv [unintelligible]. He read out of his diary, of his notes. 

HS: [Unintelligible.] 

KWS: Umm, what was the, the environment and tone in Egypt when you first got there, when you were first [unintelligible], as compared to when you went to visit Golda? I mean, we talk about politics and we talk about political decisions and how — what was it that you knew about Israel that was different? What did you know about Egypt that was different as a result of this war? What, what did you sense in the air? What was the — what was there?

HS: Well — 

KWS: What did you feel?

HS: What was there primarily was Sadat. I’m not sure that he got a sense of what the people in the streets were saying [unintelligible]. Henry’s remarkable [unintelligible] of Sadat and his willingness to embark on this larger strategy and so on. So, as you said, a very different kind of Egypt [unintelligible]. But of course, if you look back, Sadat had already gone to war because he was ready for [unintelligible] and he went to war to start this process. So — but this, this is the  [unintelligible].

KWS: Did you ever get a sense that the Egyptians knew what the status of the Third Army was? You guys knew what the status of the Third Army — did you ever get a sense that the Egyptian public knew?

HS: I don’t know about the public, but it was certainly [unintelligible].

KWS: They understood the — 

HS: Well, I think the leadership did.

KWS: How, how did it weigh on them? To what degree?

HS: Well, I think it was, uh — when, when we went there, there were, there were — the war had been stopped so the immediate threat had been stopped. But they, the Egyptians, were still very much concerned about the ambiguity of the lines and all that [unintelligible]. Both the armies [unintelligible]. I can’t remember details but one of the — we worked out, I don’t know, a six-point agreement or something like that. Part of that had to do with just trucks going through to take supplies — 

KWS: Umbrella agreement.

HS: So, uh, they were very much concerned about the, the fact that it was hanging over there. It was a humanitarian thing that Henry traded off,[unintelligible], trying to get supplies through.

KWS: And how about in Israel? What was it about the Israelis’ environment that [unintelligible]?

HS: Well, a thing that is a very personal recollection but, uh, but the most dramatic element of the scene when Joe and I flew over there is that we arrived, uh, on the day, or soon right after the day, in which the casualty figures for the war were announced. And I’ve always remembered that, and maybe I’ve manufactured this in my head, but I’ve always — my image of that day is of a black cloud hanging over Israel and it was almost as if you could touch the, the atmosphere; it was so heavy because of the [unintelligible]. And I, I equate that with my own personal situation [unintelligible]. [Saunder’s wife passed away the first day of the Yom Kippur War.] What Golda said to me when we first met was, “I’m very sorry about your loss, I’ve lost a lot of people who are [unintelligible].” But you could really almost feel it. I don’t know how much because of my condition; I don’t know how much of that I have manufactured, but what I — what was obvious was that the Israelis were — Sadat had accomplished his purpose, or one of his purposes at least. He went to war for three reasons. Well, he certainly accomplished one of them. The second one is pretty obvious too. But one of them was to show the Israelis they weren’t invincible. And that had been done. And one of the ways in which it was done was the fact that the Israelis had lost a great deal even though they won the war [unintelligible]. The other purpose that Sadat accomplished was to get the big powers re-involved.

KWS: And, and to get the process started again.

HS: And, well, the third one was really to erase the psychological humiliation of ’67 and then he did that in effect by declaring victory. You ask any Arab today who won the ’73 War and you know, you know what the answer will be. And ironically Sadat was assassinated on Victory Day [Egyptian holiday celebrating Egypt’s crossing the Suez during the Yom Kippur War].

KWS: What do you remember about the, uh, the December 15th meeting with, uh, with Assad? [Patrick] Seale, in his [unintelligible] biography of Assad [Asad: The Struggle for the Middle East, published 1988] said that Saunders characterized it in the following manner — Seale quoting you —

HS: [Unintelligible.]

KWS: “Flying into Damascus after six years with no relations was like going to China. We weren’t quite sure what we were going to find.” 

HS: Okay, that’s right, [unintelligible]. In my mind it’s just that, with Egypt, and I remember we were in and out of Cairo during the years when relations were broken. Don Bergus and others were there and it was an active place and our diplomatic officers had access to people at the top, even though we were just a special interest section. We had nobody in Damascus. The Italians represented our interests, sort of. There was no dialogue. We didn’t know quite how to talk to the people there. So maybe that was what [unintelligible], I don’t know. [Unintelligible.] 

KWS: Did you guys come with a draft invitation in hand or [unintelligible]?

HS: Oh yeah. No, Kissinger was reading from this letter. He had been — I’m sure we went to the Middle East; I’m sure we had some exchanges beforehand — but we went with a draft. And of course, we’d done — we’d reviewed that with the other people, and we were really showing to Assad something that was pretty well agreed — except for nothing’s ever agreed with the Israelis until the final, final, final minute. As I said — 

KWS: And after it’s agreed, they need to change it — 

HS: As I said, I think we were on the phone from Portugal or somewhere, you know, getting the final, final, final agreement. But, so yes, we had a draft. Henry sat there and read this sentence by sentence, explained what it meant. I can’t even remember what all was in it at this point. But in a very meticulous way, he agreed to say, “Well, the Israelis felt this about it, the Egyptians felt that about it, the Jordanians…” In other words, “Here are the issues involved [unintelligible] resolved [unintelligible] — “

KWS: Henry did this exegesis of the invitation.

HS: Yeah. That’s right. It took about a six-hour meeting. Later on, we learned that every meeting with Assad was a four-to-six-hour meeting. 

KWS: [Unintelligible.]

HS: Four was short.

KWS: Yeah, right. How much lemonade can you drink?

HS: Yeah.

KWS: When, when Assad said to you, “Except I’m not going [to the Geneva conference],” what, what was the discussion as you left his, you know, you went down to your cars, and you got in the back seat of your car and you drove to the hotel, or the airport or whatever . What did you say to yourself? “Geneva’s not going to work? What are we going to do now? Let’s forget about it? Let’s move on?” I mean —

HS: No, I didn’t —

KWS: What was the initial — 

HS: I can’t remember whether Kissinger would have had a discussion with Sadat saying beforehand, “Well, what if Assad doesn’t go?”. But I think it was concluded, “Well, okay, we’ll do it without Syria.” I think that was clear before going. I don’t think it was an absolute devastating shock. And people did not know what to expect — 

KWS: And you didn’t know, when you got there the 15th whether he’d say yes or no anyway?

HS: That’s right.

KWS: So, your expectations, it’s not like As— Sadat all of a sudden saying, “Hey by the way guys, I’m not going.”?

HS: Yeah. [unintelligible]. That would have been a shock.

KWS: Yeah. And you had never met Assad before?

HS: [Unintelligible]. Roy, Roy Atherton had opened the post at Aleppo in the early 1960s, and the fun thing was going back to [unintelligible]. It was, I mean he was thrilled to be going back. Of course, he didn’t know what to expect [laughs]. He thought it was great.

KWS: Umm, when you got to Geneva, at the conference, there is this picture in Kissinger’s book of you and Walter Stoessel, umm, Atherton, Peter Rodman, sitting in your chairs, [unintelligible], like little Indians in a row. 

HS: Mm-hmm.

KWS: What do you remember about the environment that you were [unintelligible]?

HS: 5000 [unintelligible]. 

KWS: What, what — 

HS: Well, the first thing was the fact that even when you got to [unintelligible], the hour before the meeting [unintelligible], but anyway, a significant amount of time before the meeting was all spent in haggling because nobody would go into the room because nobody would sit next to the Israelis. And that seating arrangement had to be worked out somehow in the hours before the actual sitting down. So that, I’ve forgotten how we did it, but we — the Israelis sat here and we sat in between them and the next guys — 

KWS: In that sequence?

HS: Yeah, nobody ever had to sit next to the Israelis except for the, you know, non —

KWS: [Unintelligible.]

HS: — non-Middle Eastern parties. So, we had to resolve that and that was only, as I say, worked out, sort of standing around the anteroom that day. So, there was a sense of nothing that was settled and we went in the meeting and heard these set speeches, which — 

KWS: Were you surprised by the degree of intensity of Fahmy’s speech, or what Gromyko said, or, you know, —?

HS: I guess not. They appeared pretty well, I mean, after all, these people had not [unintelligible] in public before. If you want to compare, some of the statements, uh, made in Madrid were not much better or worse.

KWS: No. I mean the Syrians’ [words], the Syrians’ was the Fahmy equivalent —

HS: Yeah.

KWS: — essentially.

HS: Yeah. The Syrian [Foreign Minister Farouk Shara]-[Israel Prime Minister Yitzhak] Shamir exchange [at the 1991 Madrid Middle East peace conference] — 

KWS: I read, I reread it. I read the Fahmy speech. Sharaa [unintelligible]. Umm, the Israelis went with expectations. Umm, one of the things they wanted to do course was maybe discuss the possibility of not only the absence of war, but the [unintelligible] may be passing [unintelligible] what is peace. But Eban tells me they also went for the purpose of trying to create some contact with the Soviets and they were delighted that Henry set up the [unintelligible]. Do you remember anything about it? The discussions about it?

HS: Not really.

KWS: Do you remember Tahsin Bashir’s address style? It sort of offset Fahmy’s harsh tone by being rather pragmatic, saying, “This is the first step.” I mean, essentially Bashir was representing Sadat’s view in a very — you go back and read Bashir’s interview from Geneva. It’s reminiscent of what you told me before the interview. 

HS: Okay.

KWS: Almost exactly. [Unintelligible] was the spokesman. Do you remember anything else about encounters with media, or other members of other delegations?

HS: Not really. It’s sort of a swirl. It’s going on in a lot of different directions at the, at the same time.

KWS: Tell me how the thing with, with Bunker worked. Bunker was nominated as ambassador to the Geneva conference [unintelligible] suspended, died in office.

HS: [Laughs.]

KWS: Actually [laughs].

HS: You know, he actually flew on the shuttles with us.

KWS: Yeah, I saw it — I, I saw him in a picture in Aswan.

HS: I can’t remember, uh, when he stopped doing that. I think maybe by the time we got to Sinai II, he was not, he was not flying with us.

KWS: Did he contribute to the discussions at all, or was he just sort of there?

HS: He is a, a very wise person, a very laconic — Umm, whenever he said something, it was worth listening to and he absorbed it all. And he was not there, by any means, just as a, to perform a [unintelligible]. He was there for his symbolic importance.

KWS: Did anything come out of his suggestion with Gromyko that Vinogradov and Bunker actually sit and negotiate?

HS: Ah, we didn’t want that to happen. You know, it pretty soon got stepped on. That is when Michael Sterner went over and became Bunker and, you know, sort of held down that seat for a while. I cannot remember when Michael — 

KWS: Michael sort of came back about March or April.

HS: Was it that long?

KWS: Then he was, umm, you know, ambassador [unintelligible] Umm, describe the April-May shuttle, I mean this 31 days, or 32 days — 

HS: Thirty-five.

KWS: Thirty five days. 

HS: [Unintelligible.]

KWS: What, what — [unintelligible] — they weren’t giving frequent flier miles. Umm, what, what convinced Assad that, you know, now is the time for interim? I mean, Saudi leverage? Was it, uh, [unintelligible] too, afraid that Sadat was going to go his own way, further?

HS: All of those things were factors. I think that — One thing that I always thought was most attractive, I think Henry did too, was the possibility of developing American relationships. After all, the Sadat move was to get out from under the Soviet thumb. Principally, in Sadat’s mind, economically he would be opening to the West, [unintelligible] and so on. That required an opening to Western Europe in which the U.S. would be a central factor. And the, uh, the Syrians — the same way, and indeed, through, well through a year, a year plus, there was some aid, increase in U.S. aid to Syria. I’ve forgotten when, ultimately of course it petered out, went back to nothing again. But there was a time when Assad [unintelligible], that there was quite a significant possibility. If you, if you go to Syria today — and actually I was there last summer and for the first time drove up, uh, to Aleppo through the agricultural development area on that road up there — it’s really quite impressive. That grew out of the brief U.S. period.

KWS: You [unintelligible].

HS: Yeah. Well, that grew out of that, that period of brief involvement. Others picked up and came in to, but there was a time when the prospect of U.S. aid [unintelligible]. I think Assad might have hoped for military aid, but that was just never mentioned. With Assad, I mean, with Sadat, that door was open fairly early. I remember writing Henry a memo when he first started talking about that with Sadat, saying, “You know, you’ve used this phrase, ‘I won’t promise anything I can’t deliver and I will deliver what I promise.’” I said, “You know you’re promising” whatever it was at the time, “not because of any failure of yours, but because of the Congress, you may not be able to deliver. And so be careful. Uh, be careful, but you need to be — you might be going too far.” And I — So anyway, we never did that with Assad. But we did do the economic thing. So, I think that the idea of broad — of, of American relationships was very interesting to Assad, and remained so for a long period of time. [unintelligible] and back again [unintelligible].

KWS: Umm, you were at the signing of Sinai I in the tent —

HS: [Unintelligible.] 

KWS: — with Siilasvuo, Henry and Christopher Maw, Maw.

HS: Maw? Carlton. Carleton [sic; Carlyle Maw].

KWS: Uh, what do you remember about it, about the day or [unintelligible]?

HS: That was it.

KWS: — about the signing?

HS: I remember the day before particularly because Kissinger went back over — maybe it was two days before — Kissinger went back over to Jerusalem. There were still some numbers of tanks or something in a, in a limited armaments zone that needed the Israeli agreement. And Hermann and I — April Glaspie was there — stayed in Aswan. And Henry was going to autograph back the, the final numbers and then take them to Sadat for the final agreement. Then they could be typed [unintelligible], et cetera. Uh, we were waiting in Aswan in the morning and no message came and no message came. And finally, we got a message which said, “It has snowed in Jerusalem and the Israeli cabinet is unable to gather. And it’s going to take us a while longer.” It took them a while longer. They ultimately overcame some of that and sent us the numbers. We got them [unintelligible]. Carl Maw, who actually brought the — I mean the American team had to type the agreement in Jerusalem — so they needed Sadat’s agreement, the numbers that the Israelis had agreed to, so that they, the numbers, could be typed into the agreement. Carl was the legal advisor for the department at that time. It was he who carried the signing texts from Jerusalem in the snow. And this story of getting down — you know there’s a — not the main road out of Jerusalem, but they found some dirt track at the railroad from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv [unintelligible] and they went down in a — I don’t know, four-track vehicle, or six-track vehicle or bulldozer or something, or snowplow. I don’t know what but anyway Carl went from Jerusalem down to Tel Aviv, got on a plane to Cyprus and then flew to Cairo that morning. Early, very early.

KWS: Mmm. It was initialed in Golda’s apartment and according to Epi, they had to come around and get all of the prime ministry and cabinet officials in four-track vehicles to bring them to Golda. And then, in order to get everyone to Lod airport, they put on a special train that went straight there.

HS: But Carl went before. That’s how the team went because he had to get over there. Anyway, I came. Once that, that exercise — once we got the numbers and so on — I guess Hermann and April and I were flown back to Cairo, and I guess I spent the night with Hermann in Cairo. And then we went over to the UN offices there. Carl was trying to find a ride [unintelligible] so we rendezvoused, had coffee in the, in the office there. And then we got in a UN vehicle and went out to the tent.

KWS: What time of day did this take place?

HS: Eleven o’clock. Something like that. Later, not late in the, not terribly late, but in the morning. A lot had to happen that morning, especially for poor Carl who — you know, all I did was get up in Cairo. 

KWS: [Laughs.]

HS: I think we must have been over in the UN office by nine o’clock or something like that. Carl had been, must have been going part of the night [unintelligible]. Anyway, we had a nice cup of coffee in the UN office and then we got in the vehicles and went out to the tents and I guess the tents in the desert, that’s what it was. 

KWS: Do you remember anything about Siilasvuo, the person? What kind of guy he was?

HS: Well, most, most of my recollections come from later on in the — After the, after Sinai II, I went to Geneva for the two weeks of the [unintelligible] talks and Siilasvuo shaped those meetings.

KWS: This was after September — 

HS: This was September ’75. And as I worked fairly closely with, especially with him and James Jonah — because here was Siilasvuo sharing the meeting with Israelis and Egyptians who were negotiating this agreement. But he hadn’t — and I was there because we had. I wasn’t in the room. I was — they didn’t want an American in the room, they wanted it to be Egyptian, Israeli, and UN. So, I sat in another room. But I listened to it. They had the words typed in. So, I sat there for hours, hours and hours, listening to this thing go on. But anyway, very frequently somebody would drop out of the meeting, come down — Egyptian, Israeli, or James Jonah or the general — and they all wanted to know what our interpretation, what they were disagreeing about, “Well, what, what’s the legislative history of this?” So, I dealt with Siilasvuo there and I came to regard him very highly as a very straightforward, serious, highly intelligent person, uh, pleasant and therefore did a good job of keeping people on track in those meetings. This was my first meeting with him, but my impression then was he was, again, a highly professional, serious person. The job in his office was to show him the agreements. That was the first chance to look at and “Here’s what you’re going to be responsible —” And of course they had the extremely important talks after the thing was signed, about debating statements.

KWS: Was it difficult to implement? Was it difficult to — 

HS: Kind of.

KWS: Was it pretty cut and dry?

HS: Whenever you — don’t forget, it was disentangling some things, so the, they had a fairly elaborate agreement [unintelligible]. I seem to remember matched with sectors. Sector one would go first. Then sector two. The idea was to have some equity in the movements and make sure that the people got out of the way, if they didn’t get out of the way before the second thing could happen.

KWS: Who insisted that the Americans be there? What was the role in your presence, sort of like a hand-holder or an overseer? I mean you just described yourself as sort of like someone who was a historical memory.

HS: But that was, that was this thing [unintelligible] because [unintelligible] — 

KWS: Right, but in Geneva. What was the purpose of the American presence?

HS: Well, it was precisely to keep everybody honest. We just negotiated this thing, and it had taken a — you know, it was a year-long process to get to Sinai II. Literally a year. And there was a lot of back and forth, a lot of history of the negotiations.

KWS: And the implementation process occurred immediately after the summit.

HS: The agreement, I went from, I can’t remember how I got — I guess I came back and went back, but I mean there were only two or three days with these things.

KWS: You know, Hal, what you’re — you’re, you’re giving me this notion that, “We can negotiate, to help negotiate an agreement, but unless we’re actually there, physically, to sort of peek over people’s shoulders they may not do it and they may not be honest.” Maybe,, maybe what happened after Camp David might have been different had we been right there over people’s shoulders.

HS: We were there. And we, we were pretty much involved after Camp David. Sadat wasn’t there after Camp David. That was the problem.

KWS: I mean like in September of ’78. I mean October, November — 

HS: We were there.

KWS: Staying as active? 

HS: Of course.

KWS: Trying to implement? 

HS: Cy — After Camp David, Cy Vance was put on a plane, two or three days after the — 

KWS: Weary as hell, right.

HS: I went out in October. Cy got the fourteen questions from Hussein, I was commissioned to take them back. I went to Saudi Arabia. I went to Jordan twice on the way to and back from Saudi Arabia. I went to the West Bank to help with [Menachem] Begin. The television and everything that I did — I mean I was out there for nine, ten days, or something. Doing a lot of television. We had developed a series of points that tried to persuade the Arabs that the Camp David Accords were different from Begin’s self-rule proposal in four different ways. I got the talking points approved by Carter and Vance, and I did television in Jordan, and I talked on these points endlessly. Begin was thoroughly, thoroughly ticked off at me and there was really an Israeli tirade against what I was doing when I arrived in Jerusalem because we were trying to — my commission was to go persuade the Arabs not to go to [the March 1979 Arab League meeting in] Baghdad. And, you know, I thought we had a good chance when I left Saudi Arabia that the Saudis would stall the Baghdad summit which was, of course, the formal rejection of Camp David by the Arabs [and the expulsion of Egypt from the League of Arab States]. So, what we missed was the presence of, of Sadat and of, of [unintelligible], and of Begin, so — 

KWS: Could it have been done otherwise that Baghdad would not have been [unintelligible] ? Was there anything you could have done differently?

HS: Well, I think we tried pretty much what we could. The Saudis wanted one or two, but I just think they were under the direction of the Iraqis [unintelligible]. But that, that was, that was one of the main themes discussed, not with [Saudi Arabia Crown Prince] Fahd so much as with the Saudis and others, “Can’t you, can’t you just not go to Baghdad?” But, going back to [unintelligible] Sinai II, I don’t think there was anything quite as, as bad as what you said. Remember, it’s — very well that in a lot of these agreements — Camp David was no exception — you don’t get everything thoroughly worked out and locked up. And Sinai II was no exception. There were certain things that were stated to be agreed, but when you actually got down to, uh, how wide was — how many policemen could be on the road and all that sort of thing, all the old issues came right back up again, because every issue, the issues —

KWS: I know what you are saying.

HS: — that were disagreed, were symbolic.

KWS: Right, right.

HS: And, uh, I mean, it, it was, uh, some of the stuff in the implementing talks was, was, uh, right back to stuff that hadn’t been agreed.

KWS: So, if we’re going to get down to implementing talks about anything — 

HS: You got to stay there until they’re implemented or until they’re ready — 

KWS: Be prepared for a lot of crustiness from everyone.

HS: Yeah, and actually, given the difficulties, uh, I think. I think what’s remarkable is that once ever— once you got things settled with people, we did not have to stand there with a whip while they moved. Once the [unintelligible] were agreed, then everything went on.

KWS: Went on with the Syrian Israeli [unintelligible].

HS: Absolutely. It was tough —

KWS: — but once they agreed to it, they did it.

HS: Yeah [unintelligible]. Roy went to Geneva for that one. [Unintelligible], but that was, you know, after three, four, five days.

KWS: What was the purpose of Nixon’s [unintelligible] and Watergate [unintelligible]? 

HS: Yeah, and February. [Unintelligible.]

HS: Yeah. All, all of that. Kissinger began, sort of toward the end of the [unintelligible]. I don’t think they, in the Middle East, had any sense at all about those.

KWS: The Israelis certainly didn’t?

HS: Well, the Israelis didn’t — knowing, I mean they were on the same [unintellibile] that the American political scene better than — If they didn’t, you can imagine that Assad couldn’t.

KWS: Sure. But it was the trauma of the war which you describe. It was the POWs that consume them, that getting that risk of the Syrian [unintelligible], the great question remains: if there’s a catch.

HS: That’s what the focus of attention was.

KWS: Great. You know, even talking to Dinitz, who was here in Washington, “Yeah, you got Senator [unintelligible], you know, worried about supply. You got security, distance — We didn’t know how to —” And Joe said to me, he said, “If I — okay — At Geneva, would I have guessed that following [unintelligible], the president of the United States is going to leave office?”

HS: Yes.

KWS: Are you kidding? [Unintelligible.] “No. None of us thought about —” 

HS: What about [unintelligible], that Nigerian stuff? I never knew its [unintelligible] and the air force, wanted to take off fire ranger, consider, I’d gone in to sit down with the staff. They were, they were saying [unintelligible]. People, uh, people were still insisting [unintelligible], rather than stop at your place. And — I forgot exactly what had happened — I think one step further towards impeachment. Nixon was standing there. [Unintelligible] Henry [unintelligible] talks outside with the — Sadat [unintelligible]. I still hadn’t said anything, but the remarkable, uh, [unintelligible] politically [unintelligible] — the capacity of the man to stand there at Air Force One as the president, the world figure, and so on. And I — what I don’t know — how did he internally manage that piece of news picture? Perhaps everything is represented. Was he totally suppressing it and dismissing it or was he managing it with turmoil inside while putting on this veneer outside? I don’t know if it’s better for the [unintelligible], the remarkable moment in my memory of [unintelligible].

KWS: How did, uh, Sadat read the [unintelligible]?

HS: Eh —

KWS: Well, you sort of said it didn’t go anywhere September seventy fi— December ’75. But he was expecting —

HS: I thought that that was pretty much [unintelligible], I think. After Sinai II, Kissinger well — pretty well [unintelligible], didn’t expect too much. Very intellectual stuff.

KWS: But Sadat still expected something after Nixon’s departure.

HS: Oh, well —

KWS: This —

HS: You’re talking about different —

KWS: Right.

HS: [Unintelligible.]

KWS: But now let’s go back to seven— let’s go back to August of ’74, between August of ’74 and September of ’75, or actually February, March of ’75. 

HS: Before [unintelligible].

KWS: Sadat was still expecting another stand.

HS: Oh, yeah.

KWS: Did Henry make a commitment to him, on even in the process of — 

HS: No.

KWS: — the [unintelligible] going on in Washington?

HS: But the, the sea crisis debate was the one of [unintelligible] if I answered it.

KWS: I need to get ahold of it.

HS: I don’t know where it is [laughs].

KWS: I’ll find it. 

HS: [Unintelligible] strange [unintelligible]. I, I had a copy of it if, if you want to see it. It’s been in publication at times. It’s one of the few read [unintelligible] and I’ve certainly faced [unintelligible] and involving [unintelligible] publishers and everything else. Now it’s in two places, ready to be published, as a matter of fact. I’m trying to get somebody to copy [unintelligible]. Anyway, the point is that, umm, we ended the Syrian agreement. At the end of that trip, I remember being in Aqaba and talking to the Jordanians in the king’s cottage in Aqaba with the maps drawn out on the table, looking at options for disengagement, [unintelligible] all sorts of ways of drawing lines on the West Bank. It was a straight-line withdrawal, very thoughtful, big population. Anyway, we talked about that then, and that was, uh — the idea at that moment was that that was to be the next step. But — you remember — I mean, just think of all the things in sequence that happened. Umm, you could look back on that summer and say not doing that, Jordanian simply was major pissed off at [unintelligible], a major one, but —

KWS: [Unintelligible] seventy-four.

HS: Yeah. The senator [unintelligible] called and said [unintelligible] but I mean — The first thing that happened after the Syrian agreement was signed was that the government changed over [unintelligible]. Rabin had governed [Rabin replaced Gold Meir as Prime Minister in June 1974]. He set delivery according to [unintelligible] graph. [Unintelligible.] He faced the West Bank withdrawal [unintelligible], “Let me get my feet on the ground. Give me some time as prime minister before I have to [unintelligible]. Then in July, late July, you had Egyptians and Israelis in different spacing over the role of the PLO, which matured, in other words, in the Arab world, there was a disarray about whether Jordan could represent, umm, negotiated [unintelligible]. So, Israeli prime minister doesn’t have the political base to move on Jordan. The Arab world doesn’t have the political base [unintelligible] behind Jordan. The president of the United States resigns in August and you have a new president [Gerald Ford was inaugurated the day after Nixon resigned on August 7, 1974]. If that isn’t enough political turmoil, uh, for a three-month period, it would explain why we didn’t do anything in September. Nevertheless, when we sat down with, with Ford — as it happened, out of the Nixon visit to the Middle East came invitations for most of the Middle Eastern, uh, not leaders, but senior cabinet involved in the process to come to Washington and towards the first five weeks in office, he had representatives from every country, including Rabin, in his office. Uh, it’s the, uh — I think the — there were other Israeli visits before his resignation. Hussein was there. Rabin was there. The Saudis were there. The Syrians were there. Anybody else, they were there too. Egyptians were there. Egyptians brought a whole team.

KWS: And like Carter only said himself, “Everyone came through.” [Unintelligible.] But this was —

HS: Literally, in a five-week period.

KWS: Wow.

HS: Rabin was —

KWS: — went full court effect.

HS: Yeah, it was a quick court. But the, the — if you read back through the staff memos of that time, [unintelligible], uh, the discussion was, “Okay, what to do next?” and the Jordan option was there, and, eh — Sadat, Fahmy were concerned that there would be an Arab summit [unintelligible]. And they wanted another Egyptian step before the summit. [Sound of slap or snapping fingers.] Just like that. So the question was, “Is Jordan or Egypt — and by — and Ford couldn’t — the visit just to help Ford sort that out, so he said, “Okay, you go after the Middle East, sort that out there.” And I think we went out sometime in Sept— in later September, and back in October [unintelligible], weighing these two options and by the October trip — I think there is a memo — “Well, maybe we can work on two tracks at the same time, but work on Jordan’s more slowly and Egypt’s more quickly. Then the Rabat summit took place [October 30, 1974]. Obviously, we couldn’t get it started because we couldn’t get it together. Then there was the Rabat summit and that locked the Jordanian option out. I remember being back and sitting with Hussein after Rabat;  the Egyptian track unfolded That began to take shape in the separate discussions, and, uh, [unintelligible], it was interesting part of that period, watching Ford take over. But I was in — I got to know Ford better out of office than I did when he was president and we were going through all this, I was deputy [unintelligible]. There still would’ve been Roy Atherton when I was, the White House, and so forth, doing various things but I would’ve have had any contact. I had been the assistant secretary with Jimmy Carter [unintelligible]. So, I got to know Ford after I left [unintelligible] because he was the distinguished fellow at AEI [American Enterprise Institute] where I ran. And, I was fortunate at AEI, somehow, a trustees’ dinner where he already [unintelligible] up. I could see the [unintelligible]. I don’t know why, but it was nothing. But then, the conversation I had with him at your first Middle East consultation —

KWS: [Unintelligible.] All right, April.

HS: But before, when we did it in the auditorium inside. Anyway, I sat next to him a couple times down there and I interviewed him a couple of times during this period. Uh, one shock —

HS: What surprised me is the degree to which he had internalized everything. His whole thought process of getting in through the, the, uh, what became Sinai [unintelligible].

KWS: Really?

HS: He [Gerald Ford] really made it his own. He claims, you know, reassessment was invaluable, for making it a political [unintelligible], his idea. I always think it was [unintelligible]. Anyway, Ford is very proud of, that whole exercise. And I asked him one time, I said, “When did you feel that you had made, or at least had, policy of your own?” [Unintelligible], all of that, according to the date where you’d fall on your butt, and all that. He said, “By about December or January.” But it was indeed, at that point — January as I recall, that he began making statements and interviews with Time and Newsweek, things that he did on his own that begin to press, a little bit of pressure, on the Israelis: they’ve got to be more flexible, and so on. They’ve got to put that thing down to the first — the shuttle, the March shuttle that broke down, and, uh, then reassess with Carter — Or he was in a contest of wills with Rabin. And he won. What do you think of that?

KWS: Did Sadat have a different view of Ford, I mean, with —?

HS: Yeah, well you —

KWS: What was it — Kissinger was a transitional figure for him. I mean, Kissinger —

HS: — was a brave hero.

KWS: Right. 

HS: What I, what I meant to say with you, after the question earlier, was, uh, Kissinger, [unintelligible], through all the theories of [unintelligible] — after Ford’s first speech, right after he became president, he addressed the Joint [Chiefs of] Staff. That message that he sent out, all over the world that, that [unintelligible] — the word was “continuity.” Uh, Kissinger was concerned that the [unintelligible] — that the Soviets’ attitude — that there’s going to be a vacuum, so he took care of them. But the rest of the Middle East, was before it was committed to the process. And I think that message got through very quickly. I think Kissinger made a major effort with Fahmy, and he, well, came over during, uh, during that period to —

KWS: Mm-hmm.

HS: — get forward and say the right things to it, the record shows, showed us right clearly that — I think Sadat was assured, reassured, that Ford would continue. Umm, I think they managed that part of it very, very solidly. There was never — they didn’t seem to be any [unintelligible] calls about Carter’s —

KWS: Did [unintelligible] have any influence about Carter’s before he became president? Any notion of, “Well, a new president, is he going to continue,” or “The secretary of state, will it be the same?” Do you have any recollection of, uh —

HS: Well —

KWS: — how the transition of — if Sadat were told no, [unintelligible]. He’d have to wait for the election. That’s what Kissinger essentially indicated.

HS: Well, there was some activity in [unintelligible]. I don’t really remember much about it but there was some when I first [unintelligible], but — I, uh, umm — the answer that comes to my mind, right off, is [unintelligible] whatever it was, two or three weeks after Carter’s inauguration, Vance was on the plane to the Middle East with a very serious [unintelligible] for getting on with the peace process. So, I think the reassurance, the real reassurance, must have come through the swiftness of that [unintelligible] and the seriousness of Vance. I mean, [unintelligible} that I remember leaving with — but I — I think he (Rabin) thought he was going to get a courtesy call from the secretary of state. Vance, in his symptomatic ways, sat there with his checklist in front of him, and began talking about various schemes for going back to Geneva and the poor Vance thought — I remember having this picture of a difficult situation begins to thicken, picked up a pad, began taking notes, writes, — I remembered that we are  going to have to brief Vance before he meets Assad,  but I think we were impressed with the seriousness that the new administration right, right at that moment. I don’t know what they knew about the details of the region [the players] . After Carter’s election, yeah, but [unintelligible], part of that I don’t — 

KWS: Who at the state department and at security [unintelligible] war, seconds to Sinai II? Desk officers or other people who had big recollections in their memory or were aware of what was going on? I mean, a unique group of people who travelled with him [unintelligible]?

HS: Half a dozen. Half a dozen. 

KWS: But, but the guys back here who, who have, you know, a different perspective of you, over the you who learned, knew a lot about what’s going on with the people I should talk to?

HS: Well, uh, two answers to that question. I remember the day Henry was — I think it was [unintelligible] — he called the NSC staff together and was very [unintelligible]. It was one of those experiences that, of all the initiatives that the first people [unintelligible] had gone out of the White House and wasn’t trying to resolve. But — and now, the secretary [unintelligible] institutionalized foreign policy [unintelligible]. Then, he specifically said, “Now we have to bring the state department because they are the ones you got to carry it on.” Okay. With those words, [unintelligible], then we went into this whole Middle East peace conference thing [unintelligible]. And Henry’s instructions to Joe — he was still insistence [unintelligible] that Roy [unintelligible] were, “You’re do— The two of you are doing this and don’t tell anybody you know in the department.” And the third person was myself, that I was fine. [Unintelligible] the NSC [unintelligible]. Well, the long and short of it was the upshot of all that was at the end of the Syrian struggle, Roy got sent off to Geneva [unintelligible] with the, with [unintelligible]. He was there for a week. When we came back, we already knew that Nixon was going to the Middle East. And so, therefore you had a presidential visit to five Middle Eastern countries, to prepare in — I don’t know what — two weeks, two-and-a-half weeks, three weeks, and nobody in the department who [unintelligible]. I remember — I think it was almost, well, if not the morning after we got back from, from the Syrian thing, a day or so later, Henry said to me, “Now you write the strategy paper for the president’s trip to the Middle East.” I was, I — to say the least — but I remember at home, sitting in my living room. I got up at three o’clock in the morning and sat — I guess I wrote out longhand because [unintelligible] typed up that morning and said to Henry, “It’s wonderful.” He once told me the absence of — the only praise you’ll get is the absence of criticism. Well, that memo was one that, for some reason, elicited high praise. And that’s what kept it [unintelligible]. They were saying like that to me, or after, but anyway — I guess it was a good memo. We listed emerging [unintelligible] together, so — I wrote the strategy paper. He showed it to [unintelligible]. It came back — I was told the NSC — came back, and uh, said, “Okay,” The [unintelligible] bureau. “Now you have to write country papers. Because he’s going to five countries, five country papers [unintelligible].” Nobody in the dep— in the bureau knew what was going on. And I had the interesting — I guess, they wrote the papers and sent them up there. I got told that night, uh, he was on the phone —

KWS: Who’s the “he?”

HS: Henry. He wrote, “If possible, I’m having breakfast” — at eight o’clock that evening [unintelligible]. “If possible, I’m having breakfast with the president in the morning. I want them all [unintelligible].” That message came to me, not to the bureau downstairs on the sixth floor —

KWS: [Laughs.]

HS: — but to me on the NSC.

KWS: [Laughs.]

HS: — and I called that executive director advisor and I said, “I just want you to know, I just had a telephone call from your secretary and this is what he told me.” I said, “If I can —” He said, “Well, what are we doing?” I said, “Look.” I mean, they’re a party. I said, “If you can get your country directors together, I will be glad to meet them in the department and tell them what I think they can do to [unintelligible] this up.” Now, mind you, there’s an acting assistant secretary there, and all that. He’d been cut out, he’s [unintelligible] —

KWS: Who is that?

HS: So, I found myself at nine o’clock that night sitting with five country directors that I, I didn’t [unintelligible] going home or whether he was there or not or whatever, but — Sitting in Roy Atherton’s office, uh, you know, the pretender from the NSC staff, sitting in the assistant secretary’s office, suggesting what they could do to write and rewrite those five papers. And they did, and we did, and they went upstairs and I’m pretty sure Henry had not even read them.

KWS: Do you know who the five were? Do you remember? [Unintelligible], the names?

HS: Uh —

KWS: Maybe I can find out.

HS: I think, yeah. I think it was David Korn for, uh, would’ve been Jordan. Would’ve been Roy Atherton too. Walter Smith, I think would be [unintelligible]. Freeman Matthews. [Unintelligible.] Egyptians. I think [unintelligible]. Umm, [unintelligible]. Five countries, four directors, because the northern Arab states [unintelligible].

KWS: What was [Walter] Stoessel’s [unintelligible]? I mean, why was he there?

HS: I forgot. I mean I’ve honestly forgotten. What was he? 

KWS: [Unintelligible.]

HS: He had a pipe in his hand the whole time.

KWS: I mean, I, I’ll find out. If you do [unintelligible].

HS: Frankly, I’ve forgotten, but you mentioned it a little bit earlier

KWS: Did Peter [Rodman] go with you on all these travels [unintelligible]?

HS: Uh, I, yeah, uh, yeah. At first he said he didn’t want to go. It would’ve been [unintelligible].

KWS: He didn’t [unintelligible]?

HS: Oh yeah. He had a very full staff. He answers a lot of people. 

KWS: [Unintelligible.]

HS: Rather, in some ways maybe he’s closer to Henry because he’s, he’s close to Henry.

KWS: Uh-huh.

HS: Seriously, stuff like [unintelligible]. He may have — he also may have been in Henry’s direction [unintelligible]. You know, he wasn’t close to him, but — I don’t think the country director, frankly, read him —  

KWS: No, I don’t think so.

HS: — up to very much at all. If he wanted to — 

HS: Yeah, That, that’s worth doing, and, uh, is he though not exciting, interview? If you wanted to talk to one assistant director, the one that’s close as possible, is, uh, David Korn, with [unintelligible] —

KWS: Sure.

HS: — very actively.

KWS: I also want to talk to April [Glaspie] about the [unintelligible].

HS: Yeah. Well, not only that, but she was, umm, she was in Cairo at the first Kissinger visit [unintelligible]. She was detailed — it was that [unintelligible] might be of interest — she was detailed to, uh, Cairo, along with Beth [Jones] and John [Craig]. Frankly [unintelligible]. It’s going to [unintelligible]. Anyway, the three alone, you got [unintelligible] of the logistics of the Kissinger visits. [Unintelligible] three-four [unintelligible].

KWS: You knew, however, about the Kissinger, about the [unintelligible] plans?

HS: I was there, yes.

KWS: What do you remember about it? I mean, I, I know of two: the one in Paris and the one in Geneva. The one in Paris you were at? 

HS: No. One and that was in, uh, Amman in Jordan.

KWS: Amman.

HS: It wasn’t an outside plan. 

KWS: [Unintelligible.]

HS: And then epiphany [unintelligible] came.

KWS: Right.

HS: [Unintelligible] the armor. [Unintelligible.]

KWS: Well, you get used to it. Kissinger wanted you to do this.

HS: Yeah. Well, it, it went back at quite a while. I remember — I was after about the, the — what?

KWS: [Unintelligible?]

HS: I don’t know. Something. [Unintelligible. Pause.] Winter of ’72, I think. And, uh, I remember, on Saturday, they were full on Henry, and Henry, [unintelligible], sent him over to the [unintelligible]. In ’72, Henry was doing all kinds of things, [unintelligible] on Sinai, [unintelligible], Vietnam, [unintelligible]. And why not [unintelligible]? He would begin to go to the Middle East. [Unintelligible.] And the broken down, umm, [unintelligible]. And I think he, he felt that the sending — it couldn’t’ve been, as the [unintelligible]. We’d get there anyway. Anyway. [Unintelligible], we put out feelers to people in ’69, [unintelligible] over orders of twelve [unintelligible], though he told [Egyptian] Ashraf [Ghorbal] I don’t remember what exactly, but it’d have to, it’d [unintelligible]; I think it would’ve opened the door to a possible finalized document in Cairo. And I remember walking back — maybe it brought us the executive [unintelligible] — in my office, it was Cairo or nothing. But Henry wanted to keep the — I don’t think [unintelligible] as I remember — I had to figure out if his saying, “I’ll drop you going home now,” [unintelligible] a sense of urgency, I mean, [unintelligible] about entrapment [unintelligible]. Really, before long, I really [unintelligible]. So, anyway, I think that’s good, an overture, umm [unintelligible] materialized, and umm, that was [unintelligible]. The first [unintelligible] was sort of a [unintelligible] to the [unintelligible] receptive to the Arab-Israeli process, once [unintelligible] found out about it, began [unintelligible] all the talks that were going on in the first Nixon administration, umm, and had to do [unintelligible] of substance. Uh, [unintelligible, laughs]. But then I think by the time they got outside Paris, uh, that was the meeting — the reports from Henry had gone without thinking through the [unintelligible]. But it was a moderate effort [unintelligible]. Anyway, Paris went [unintelligible]. But Kissinger wasn’t proposing a plan of action [unintelligible] Sadat was [unintelligible].

KWS: Did it ever seem strange to you now that, that Sadat and the Soviets believed  [unintelligible] contemplate getting anything from the Americans [unintelligible]?

HS: Very strange. Very. Yeah.

KWS: I mean, did you ever hear from [unintelligible]?

HS: [Unintelligible.] I never really got — I, I think the only — the only thing you could say about it or the dark side of the picture was [that] there was a fair amount of discussion of, of Soviets during the meeting with — I think the — my mind, [unintelligible]. The [unintelligible] canal deal business was ’71 or summer of ’71.

KWS: The arbitration was August ’70. And then August ’70, cease-fire. And [unintelligible] came across. 

HS: Following summer was the [unintelligible]. Uh, uh, during that — and [Secretary of State William] Rogers was out there on one of those trips — there were a lot of thoughts about getting the Russians down, in the Middle Eastern [unintelligible].

KWS: You mean from, from —?

HS: From Rogers, yeah.

KWS: Oh, from Rogers?

HS: Yeah, [unintelligible]. So, umm, well, so, taking Sadat’s view for a moment, he could feel that he had heard a great deal from the Americans about the desirability of, of dampening the Russian presence, etcetera, of how important that would be to them. Then the following summer, then the following summer [1972] when he throws them out, he might very well have thought, “Well, okay, the Americans are [unintelligible], said this is what they want. I’m just responding to them.” And then, puff, nothing happened. Well —

KWS: In other words, he may have anticipated unilateral American action, without getting [unintelligible].

HS: Yeah. Well, they committed to a defense. They didn’t stop to think that, “There it was,” whatever it was, three-four months before an American election, so — You can’t expect a major Middle East peace initiative with the American president going through an election campaign, etc. It would’ve been just fine without — if there had been any discussion but while —

KWS: [Unintelligible]

HS: — had somebody would’ve said, “Look, [unintelligible] in January, then we’ll — let’s talk about it after the election,” that would be marvelous, but let’s begin with something, so we can then build on it. But if you —

KWS: They might not have even contemplated it, I don’t know. I mean, I don’t — I guess I’d have to ask [unintelligible]. He may have an answer.

HS: [Unintelligible.]

KWS: Who amongst the Arabs have watched the [unintelligible] which you were dealing with in ’71? People like [unintelligible]. You know, think things though, add it to the discussion, and after [unintelligible]?

HS: Fortunately, and incidentally, the only person [unintelligible] never even get [unintelligible] the rise of hypocrisy, uh —

KWS: You know, Adnan [Abu-] Odeh, Jordanian permanent representative of the UN [unintelligible].

HS: I [unintelligible] the —  

KWS: He left the royal point position sometime the end of April. Came here with [unintelligible].

HS: I, I knew them [unintelligible]. We’d been there for a long, long time, He came back for a year, uh [unintelligible]. Anyway, I, I knew he’d had a farewell party last December on his lawn but I didn’t know who [unintelligible].

KWS: Was that friendly [unintelligible], one of his advisors?

HS: Yes. And [unintelligible].

KWS: I had a very interesting chat with [unintelligible] about why [unintelligible] it was a combination of [unintelligible]. And there’d been too many people who were factors between [unintelligible] people [unintelligible] time [unintelligible].

HS: [Unintelligible.]

KWS: You know, [unintelligible].


KWS: The interviews were fantastic.

HS: [Unintelligible.] Why, you — why, you did justice to a whole other category.

KWS: Well, that had been — how do you, you know, where do you apply —

HS: Yeah.

KWS: — the overlap? Obviously, people have selective memories. [Abba] Eban had the most selective memory of all.

HS: Yeah.

KWS: Oh! Big role at Geneva was — 

HS: Yeah.

KWS: Epi Evron was, has a very good memory.

KWS: [Naftali] Lavie has a good memory but he, he’s [unintelligible] ways to embellish those of other people.

HS: [Unintelligible.]

KWS: There’s always [unintelligible] the second waves. Then there’s the [unintelligible], bilateral. [Unintelligible.]

HS: [Unintelligible.]

KWS: [Unintelligible.] I don’t know either. It would have to be the [unintelligible] that felt worried [unintelligible]. Roy Atherton.

HS: [Unintelligible] that’s a tough [unintelligible].

KWS: Yeah. You know what I could do if I could splice, splice you into [unintelligible], patchwork. You know, it’s hard to mention at some point [unintelligible], that, that the difficulty of writing history like this is that you don’t get a sense [unintelligible], you don’t get a sense of chronology, that you don’t get a sense of uh, [unintelligible] intervention — which, what people are doing, and that’s why [unintelligible] missing [unintelligible]. People forget. When they talk about the ’73 war period, the [unintelligible] feelings were — thought that this was the end of civilization. Bottom, bottom line. [Unintelligible] temperature, and then the [unintelligible].

HS: Yeah.

KWS: [Unintelligible]

HS: [Unintelligible] in United States

KWS: In America, are you kidding? They invented self-serving [unintelligible].

HS: [Unintelligible.]

KWS: They invent it again. [Unintelligible.]

HS: [Unintelligible.] 8:30. 

KWS: [Unintelligible] wonderful.

HS: 7:15. [Unintelligible] better assistant [unintelligible] even in Athens. You could go to the [unintelligible] on even days if your license number is even. Or in Athens, you could always ride [unintelligible] bus, because on alternate days, depending on whether your, whether your license plate is odd or even. Athens is, uh, [unintelligible].

KWS: When did you be there for Cairo on once-a-week days?

HS: Yeah [laughs].

KWS: You work from [unintelligible] three days, three days a month?

HW: Yeah [unintelligible].

KWS: Fascinating materials. Do you want a transcript—, you want a copy of this?

HS: I don’t [unintelligible].

KWS: Thank you