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1338. For Stevenson and McCloy. Subject: Next Steps in New York Negotiations.
1. The loose ends still remaining unfulfilled in original understanding between President and Khrushchev are these: On Soviet side, on-site UN-supervised verification of removal of offensive weapons, and longer-term safeguards against their reintroduction. On our side, formal assurances against invasion of Cuba.
2. Recent indications from Soviets make clear their intention: to disengage militarily from Cuba, but to stick to their story that they have saved the Castro regime from US invasion. Our interest lies in speeding the disengagement process, while avoiding the kind of commitment that unduly ties our hands in dealing with the Castro regime while it lasts.
3. On verification and safeguards,
(a) The Soviets have given no indication that they are prepared to press Castro regime as hard as would be necessary to get Cubans to agree to any acceptable inspection system;
(b) Cubans have consistently been adamant in objecting to ground inspection of any kind, and have rejected several progressively softer proposals by SYG on verification;
(c) Both Soviets and Cubans have stressed need for reciprocal arrangements involving inspection of other Caribbean areas, probably including US, as price for inspection of Cuba.
4. Therefore it is not going to be possible in the short run to get a UN system of short-term verification or long-term safeguards on offensive weapons in the Caribbean.
5. Assuming (which is not wholly clear) that it would be possible to develop a satisfactory arrangement for adequate long-term safeguards on basis of mutuality in the Caribbean area, it is not to our interest to have the Soviets involved in creating, sponsoring, or administering such safeguards.
6. Absence of inspection arrangements, while leaving part of original deal unfulfilled, does provide rationale for (a) continued US photographic reconnaissance over Cuba, operating under existing OAS resolution, and (b) the tough conditions on our non-invasion assurances.
1. On this analysis, that we will not be able to get satisfactory arrangements on verification and safeguards, we face two alternatives:
(a) to continue negotiations for an indefinite period, insisting on Soviet compliance with our full position that there should be UN verification of their withdrawal of offensive weapons as well as "suitable safeguards" against their reintroduction into Cuba;
(b) to close out this phase of the negotiations immediately on the basis of the steps the Soviet Union has taken and will promise to take, adapting our undertakings to reflect the absence so far of meaningful UN inspection arrangements.
2. There are distinct advantages to closing out this phase of the negotiations with the Soviets without delay. The Soviets would have the opportunity to disengage themselves from major military involvement in Cuba. We would be enabled to deal with Cuba largely as a Hemispheric problem and to consider next steps on long-range safeguards in a Caribbean Latin American context, without the intrusion of the Soviet Union. This would permit us to seek progress with the Soviet Union on wider subjects, such as nuclear testing, Berlin, disarmament and the election of the Secretary General.
Within this framework we would favor a Security Council meeting during next week at which the following steps would be taken:
1. The Secretary-General would report on the steps he has taken, and in particular his series of unsuccessful efforts to secure Cuban agreement to UN on-site inspection to verify withdrawal and dismantling of offensive weapons and to safeguard against future reintroduction.
2. The Soviet Union would make a declaration indicating steps it has taken pursuant to the US-USSR understanding and containing assurances that all missiles and nuclear components have been removed, that the IL-28's would come out within four weeks, that military units and personnel intended for the protection of these weapons systems will be removed in time, and that no offensive weapons would be reintroduced in Cuba in the future.
3. The United States would make a parallel declaration: (Being sent USUN in septel)(1)
(a) taking note of the Soviet assurances cited above;
(b) indicating that we have lifted the quarantine;
(c) stating our non-invasion assurances, contingent on Cuban behavior.
4. These declarations would be noted by the Security Council President in a "summation" which would have to be agreed ahead of time. Alternatively a brief procedural resolution noting the declaration might be less difficult to achieve than getting UAR to agree to an acceptable summation. If a resolution is used, it should contain no substantive elements and should establish no continuing machinery.
Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.56261/11-2162. Top Secret; Sensitive; Priority; Eyes Only. Drafted by Sisco and Cleveland; cleared with the Executive Committee and Ball, and approved by Cleveland.