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National Security Adviser
KISSINGER REPORTS ON USSR, CHINA AND MIDDLE EAST DISCUSSIONS, 1974-76

Collection Finding Aid

View digitized copies of the documents


SUMMARY DESCRIPTION

Memoranda of conversations and related materials compiled for President Ford concerning Secretary Kissinger’s meetings with leaders of the Soviet Union, China, and Middle Eastern countries.  The files also contain memoranda of conversations from President Ford’s meetings with Soviet leaders at the Vladivostok Summit and the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), and with Chinese leaders during his visit to Peking.  Meeting summaries, Kissinger’s reports to the President, briefing papers prepared for Kissinger, drafts of agreements and communiqués, public statements, press releases, and press briefing transcripts round out the files.  Important topics of discussion are SALT, CSCE, the Vladivostok Summit, President Ford’s visit to China and the normalization process, and the Sinai Disengagement Agreement between Egypt and Israel. 

QUANTITY
2.0 linear feet (ca. 4,000 pages)

DONOR
Gerald R. Ford (accession number 77-118)

ACCESS
Open, but some materials continue to be national security classified and restricted.  Access is governed by the donor’s deed of gift, a copy of which is available on request, and National Archives and Records Administration regulations (36 CFR 1256).

COPYRIGHT
Gerald R. Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections.  The copyrights to materials written by other individuals or organizations are presumed to remain with them.  Works prepared by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain.

Prepared by Geir Gundersen, June 1996; Revised by Helmi Raaska, November 2003


INTRODUCTION

The Kissinger Reports on USSR, China, and Middle East Discussions is one of many sub-collections that comprise the National Security Adviser Files. The provenance of the Ford National Security Adviser Files and an explanation of the designations “Presidential” and “Institutional” are provided in Appendix A.

This subcollection consists of ribbon copies of memoranda of conversations (memcons) and related materials concerning high level meetings with Soviet, Chinese, and Middle Eastern leaders.  The materials were compiled for President Ford’s information, and after he had read them, they were returned to the NSC for filing.  NSC staff kept the materials in binders with tabs separating the various documents.  In a few cases there is a tab for a memcon which archivists found to be missing from the binder.  Ford Library archivists removed the papers from the binders and placed them in folders during processing. 

This collection chronicles the practice of diplomacy at the highest level.  The focus is on three important areas of Ford administration foreign policy:  U.S.-Soviet relations, U.S.-China relations, and the U.S. role as mediator in the 1975 Sinai Disengagement Agreement between Egypt and Israel.  In conducting this diplomacy, Secretary Kissinger met with Andrei Gromyko, Leonid Brezhnev, Mao Tse-Tung, Chou En-Lai, Teng Hsiao P’ing, Anwar Sadat, Yitzak Rabin, Hafiz Al-Asad, King Hussein, and King Khalid.  Memcons of these meetings are the core of the files.  Peter Rodman of the NSC staff sat in on many meetings, and the memcons typed on White House letterhead are taken from his notes.  Memcons typed on State Department stationery are usually based on notes taken by Alfred Atherton, Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, or Hermann Eilts, U.S. Ambassador to Egypt.

Secretary Kissinger’s reports to the President are also an important component of the files.  These reports summarized the substance of his meetings, described the tone of the discussions and the mood of the participants, offered analysis of the progress being made in achieving goals, and informed the President of his travel schedule and upcoming meetings.  The reports were submitted by cable to Brent Scowcroft, who had them typed as memoranda for the President.  The memoranda, often ribbon copies, are filed in this collection.

Other materials in the files show the ongoing work of the Secretary and members of his staff who traveled with him.  The staff prepared background memoranda, briefing papers, and checklists for Dr. Kissinger, and continually revised drafts of agreements and communiqués.  Copies of press releases, public remarks such as Kissinger’s arrival and departure statements, and transcripts of press briefings are also part of the collection.  All of these items taken together provide a picture of the process of diplomacy.

Scope and Content of the Materials

The materials cover a wide range of topics within the areas of U.S.-Soviet relations, U.S.-China relations, and negotiations for a Sinai disengagement agreement.  Each series has its own highly significant issues, and a few additional topics are identified in this finding aid to illustrate the broad scope of some discussions.  The best subject access for researchers is through PRESNET search reports which are available upon request.    

Files on USSR discussions are from seven meetings between October 1974 and January 1976.  These meetings took place during Kissinger trips to Moscow, Vienna, and Geneva, and during the Vladivostok Summit and the CSCE in Helsinki.  President Ford participated in the Vladivostok and Helsinki meetings.  The main topic of the discussions is arms control and the SALT II negotiations.  Other issues discussed include CSCE, grain sales, trade, Cyprus, China, Angola, and the Middle East.  

Materials concerning discussions with the Chinese are from the Secretary’s trips to China in November 1974 and October 1975, and President Ford’s visit to China in December 1975.  The President participated in the December 1975 discussions.  There is also material from a September 1975 meeting Kissinger had with Chinese officials in New York.  These discussions were primarily concerned with the process of normalizing relations between the U.S. and China and planning for the President’s trip.  The leaders also discussed trade, cultural exchanges, the Soviet Union, Taiwan, Tibet, India-Pakistan relations, Europe, and the Middle East.

The last series of discussions includes materials from Secretary Kissinger’s March and August 1975 Middle East shuttles.  This collection does not include materials from meetings with Israeli and Arab leaders in Washington or the October 1974 and February 1975 shuttles, which are also related to the 1975 Sinai Accord.

A Sinai I agreement had been reached in 1974 during the Nixon administration.  Secretary Kissinger undertook the shuttles during the Ford administration as mediator in further Sinai disengagement negotiations between Egypt and Israel.  The March 1975 round includes discussions with leaders from Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Israel, and provides a big picture overview of the situation in the Middle East.  Negotiations broke down during this shuttle, but were resumed in August.  Discussions in August were focused on specific language in the agreement documents, and the files contain many drafts of these items.  For this round, there are lengthy memcons of discussions with the Israelis, but none for meetings with the Egyptians.  This gap is filled to some extent by checklists, reports to the President, and statements to the press which provide a sense of the discussions with President Sadat.  Egypt and Israel initialed the Sinai II agreement on September 1, 1975.  After the agreement was initialed Secretary Kissinger made a round of visits to Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Jordan.  The files include memcons of his meetings with King Khalid and King Hussein.

Related Materials (November 2003)
Related materials are available in several other National Security Adviser collections.  Among these are Presidential Country Files, NSC Staff Files, Kissinger-Scowcroft West Wing Office Files, Memoranda of Conversations, Kissinger Trip Briefing Books and Cables, and Presidential Trip Briefing Books and Cables.  Only portions of some of these collections are currently open for research; some are entirely unprocessed and unavailable.  Researchers can identify the file locations of related open materials from PRESNET search reports.  As additional collections become available, the information is entered into the PRESNET database.  Researchers can also consult the Ford Library website for announcements as collections are opened.


Series Descriptions

Box 1                USSR Memcons and Reports, 1974-1976.  (0.4 linear feet)
Memcons, reports, draft communiques and agreements, proposals, letters, notes, talking papers, and press releases concerning U.S.-Soviet relations.  Included are materials on Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's trip to Moscow, his meetings with Andrei Gromyko in Vienna and Geneva, the Vladivostok Summit, and President Ford's meetings with Leonid Brezhnev in Helsinki during the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe.  Memcons  and reports from these meetings are of particular interest.  Included is information on SALT and other arms control agreements, Soviet-Chinese relations, grain purchases, Angola, Korea, Japan, Indochina, Somalia, Cyprus, the Middle East, trade, emigration, oil, and the United Nations. Arranged chronologically by date of trip and then by date of meeting.

Box 2               China Memcons and Reports, 1974-75.  (0.4 linear feet)
Memcons, reports, draft communiques and agreements, proposals, briefing papers, letters, notes, and press releases concerning U.S.-China relations.  Included are materials on Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's trips to China, President Ford's head of state visit to China, and Secretary Kissinger's meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister in New York.  Memcons and reports from meetings with Chairman Mao, Chou En-Lai, Teng Hsiao P'ing, and other Chinese officials are of particular interest.  There is also information on the Shanghai Communique and the normalization process in U.S.-China relations, Chinese-Soviet relations, US-Taiwanese relations, SALT, Yugoslavia, the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, MIAs, trade, energy, and the United Nations. Arranged chronologically by date of trip and then by date of meeting.

Boxes 3-5           Middle East Memcons and Reports, 1975.  (1.2 linear feet)
Memcons, reports, draft agreements and annexes, briefing materials, proposals, letters, notes, talking papers, and press releases concerning Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East as he mediated the 1975 Sinai Disengagement Agreement between Egypt and Israel.  Memcons and reports from the numerous meetings Secretary Kissinger held with Egyptian, Israeli, Syrian, Jordanian, and Saudi Arabian leaders, including President Anwar Sadat, Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin, President Hafiz Al-Asad, King Hussein, and King Khalid are of particular interest. Arranged chronologically by date of trip and then date of meeting.


Container List

The entire collection is available in digital form. Please click on the folder titles to view PDF files of the documents.

Box 1      USSR Memcons and Reports
October 24-27, 1974 - Kissinger/Brezhnev Talks in Moscow (1)
October 24-27, 1974 - Kissinger/Brezhnev Talks in Moscow (2)
October 24-27, 1974 - Kissinger/Brezhnev Talks in Moscow (3)
November 23-24, 1974 - Vladivostok Summit (1)
November 23-24, 1974 - Vladivostok Summit (2)
May 19-20, 1975 - Kissinger/Gromyko Meetings in Vienna (1)
May 19-20, 1975 - Kissinger/Gromyko Meetings in Vienna (2)
July 10-11, 1975 - Kissinger/Gromyko Meetings in Geneva (1)
July 10-11, 1975 - Kissinger/Gromyko Meetings in Geneva (2)
July 30-August 2, 1975 - Ford/Brezhnev Meetings in Helsinki (Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe)
September 18-21, 1975 - Talks with Gromyko
January 21-23, 1976 - Kissinger Moscow Trip (1)
January 21-23, 1976 - Kissinger Moscow Trip (2)
January 21-23, 1976 - Kissinger Moscow Trip (3)

Box 2     China Memcons and Reports
November 25-29, 1974 - Kissinger's Trip (1)
November 25-29, 1974 - Kissinger's Trip (2)
November 25-29, 1974 - Kissinger's Trip (3)
November 25-29, 1974 - Kissinger's Trip (4)
November 25-29, 1974 - Summaries of Kissinger/Teng Discussions
September 28, 1975 - Kissinger's Meeting with PRC Officials in New York
October 19-23, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip (1)
October 19-23, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip (2)
October 19-23, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip (3)
October 19-23, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip (4)
October 19-23, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip (5)
October 19-23, 1975 - Drafts of Joint Communique
December 1-5, 1975 - President Ford's Visit to Peking (1)
December 1-5, 1975 - President Ford's Visit to Peking (2)
December 1-5, 1975 - President Ford's Visit to Peking (3)

Box 3     Middle East Memcons and Reports
March 7-22, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip - Vol. I (1)
March 7-22, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip - Vol. I (2)
March 7-22, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip - Vol. I (3)
March 7-22, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip - Vol. I (4)
March 7-22, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip - Vol. I (5)
March 7-22, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip - Vol. I (6)
March 7-22, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip - Vol. I (7)
March 7-22, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip - Vol. I (8)
March 7-22, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip - Vol. I (9)
March 7-22, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip - Vol. I (10)
March 7-22, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip - Vol. II (1)
March 7-22, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip - Vol. II (2)
March 7-22, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip - Vol. II (3)
March 7-22, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip - Vol. II (4)

Box 4     Middle East Memcons and Reports
March 7-22, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip - Vol. II (5)
March 7-22, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip - Vol. II (6)
March 7-22, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip - Vol. II (7)
March 7-22, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip - Vol. II (8)
March 7-22, 1975 - Kissinger's Trip - Vol. II (9)
August 21-September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Vol. I (1)
August 21-September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Vol. I (2)
August 21-September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Vol. I (3)
August 21-September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Vol. I (4)
August 21-September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Vol. I (5)
August 21-September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Vol. I (6)
August 21-September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Vol. I (7)
August 21-September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Vol. II (1)
August 21-September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Vol. II (2)
August 21-September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Vol. II (3)

Box 5     Middle East Memcons and Reports
August 21-September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Vol. II (4)
August 21-September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Vol. II (5)
August 21-September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Vol. II (6)
August 21-September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Vol. III (1)
August 21-September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Vol. III (2)
August 21-September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Vol. III (3)
August 21-September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Vol. III (4)
August 21-September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Vol. III (5)
August 21-September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Vol. III (6)
August 21-September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Vol. III (7)
August 21-September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Vol. III (8)
August 21-September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Vol. III (9)
September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Documents (1)
September 1, 1975 - Sinai Disengagement Agreement - Documents (2)