Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak told President Reagan on Monday that he thinks time is wasting in Mideast peace efforts, and he expressed hope that the United States will step up the pressure to push forward an initiative that has languished since February.
At an hourlong White House meeting with Reagan, Mubarak stressed that the Palestine Liberation Organization has “implicitly” accepted the U.S. conditions for joining any peace talks, according to a senior Administration official who took part in the session. The conditions include recognition of Israel’s right to exist and acceptance of two key United Nations’ resolutions.
Once negotiations are under way, the Egyptian leader reportedly said, the PLO will talk in more “explicit terms.” Seven months ago, King Hussein of Jordan similarly asserted that the PLO is now willing to meet the U.S. conditions but the Administration official said Monday that Washington has not heard directly from the PLO.
Hussein has called for a joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation that would meet with U.S. representatives as a prelude to direct peace negotiations with Israel. The United States has steered away from meeting such a group because it has not been satisfied with PLO assurances and because it believes that the process is certain to be rejected by Israel.
Nevertheless, the Administration official continued to express hope Monday that direct Arab-Israeli peace talks could be arranged by the end of the year. “The situation is not bleak,” he told reporters.
No Details on Talks
The Administration would disclose little about the content of the Reagan-Mubarak talk or about the Egyptian president’s meetings with other Administration officials during the day, emphasizing the delicacy of the situation.
And despite Mubarak’s key position as president of the only Arab country to have made peace with Israel, his visit to Washington was looked upon mainly as a preliminary to Hussein’s arrival next week.