Kissinger, who was secretary of state under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford and played a pivotal diplomatic role during the Cold War, died Thursday at his home in Connecticut, his advisory firm said in a statement.
Kissinger was at the helm of his country's foreign relations at a time when the waves of political crises in the world crashed, and he was known for some of his predictions and opinions contrary to expectations, since his acceptance of dealing with communist China, which now considers him a friend, through his role in the peace process between Egypt and Israel in 1978, and then his prediction of the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
The deception of war
Former Egyptian Assistant Foreign Minister, Ambassador Gamal Bayoumi, tells Sky News Arabia, how Egypt used Kissinger's interview with his Egyptian counterpart, Mohamed Hassan al-Zayat, on October 6, 1973, as part of its famous plan of "strategic deception", to obscure the date of the start of the war, to surprise Israel and the whole world:
- Cairo requested a meeting with the US secretary of state under the pretext of discussing negotiations with Israel that would return Sinai without war.
- The government requested that this meeting be held on the same day of the war, in order to complete the strategic deception practiced by the Egyptian forces in their attempt to conceal the intention of war and cause surprise, and even in secrecy, Foreign Minister Zayat himself did not know the date of the war.
- During the talks between the two ministers, it was reported that Egyptian forces had crossed the Bar-Lev Line (the impregnable barrier built by Israeli forces along the east bank of the Suez Canal to prevent the Egyptian army from crossing the canal into the then Israeli-occupied Sinai) and the war began, and Kissinger was angry because he realized he had been subjected to diplomatic deception, telling his Egyptian counterpart, "What negotiations are you talking about when the war has begun?"
- Kissinger did not expect Egypt to be able to wage war, then negotiate from a position of strength, and before October, when Egypt asked Washington to pressure Israel, he would tell the Egyptian government that you should negotiate with Israel yourself.
- But after Egypt's victory in the war, he became the godfather of the Camp David Accords, which established peace between Egypt and Israel.
Bayoumi describes Kissinger as saying that even after leaving his official job, he remained until recently "a difficult figure in international diplomacy."
This is evident in the initiative of the former foreign minister to visit China last July, at the age of one hundred years, and his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who welcomed him much more than the current US officials, praising his role in supporting the relations of the two countries in the past.
On the fiftieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, Kissinger again admitted that he was surprised by the war, telling the Jerusalem Post last September that he did not expect the Egyptians to do it.
Kissinger predicted that the Israelis would "crush" the Egyptians within hours, but this did not happen, prompting Washington to run a huge strong bridge to save the Israeli position with the latest weapons.
Kissinger was known for his love of power and always being an influencer, which may have led him to play important roles in international relations even after his retirement from official work.
The late Egyptian journalist Mohamed Hassanein Heikal says in his book "Talk in Politics": "He learned that power is an irresistible element of gravity, but he did not imagine to what extent until he became the president's national security adviser, then foreign minister, and then a star in international politics, and then he discovered that he had excitatory factors that he did not know about himself before."
Who is Kissinger?
- Born on May 27, 1923 in Würzburg, Germany, he moved to the United States as a child.
- He served as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State from 1973 to 1977 in the administrations of President Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.
- He is best known for his role in rearranging relations between Washington and the Soviet Union during the Cold War era, as well as in rapprochement with China, and the settlement in Vietnam.
- He is the author of books known for her in-depth analysis of international affairs, including "Diplomacy", published in 1994, in which he reviews the history of global diplomacy.
- After leaving government, Kissinger founded Kissinger Associates, an international consulting firm, and remained active in public policy, particularly advising U.S. presidents.
- He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 for his role in negotiating an end to the Vietnam War.