ESMAT ABDEL MEGUID, the head of Egypt's delegation at the Cairo talks, has been Egypt's permanent representative at the United Nations since 1972. He is an amiable, soft-spoken, experienced diplomat who has been in government service most of his adult life. He, like his Israeli counterpart, has close ties to France.

Meguid, 54, was educated in Paris, served in the diplomatic missions there and in London, and helped to restore relations between Egypt and France after the 1956 Middle East war. In the 1960s he was chairman of Egypt's state information service and later the official spokesman for the government, which has given him an easy familiarity with the press that is not commong among Egyptian officials.

When Anwar Sadat became president after the death of Gamal Abdel Nasser, he chose Meguid to head a committee charged with tempering the abuses of sequestration, the Nasser-era program of confiscating the property of rich individuals. Ambassador Meguid lives in New York.

OSAMA EL BAZ, 44, El Basa is a hard-charging counterpoint to the easygoing head of the delegation. He is known as a furiously hard worker, often seen bustling about the Foreign Ministry in his shirt sleeves. His official title is director of the political office of the vice president.

"Doctor Osama," as he is usually called, is known to outsiders for his comprehensive grasp of Egyptian policy and its implications, his restless energy and his quick temper. He is rarely seem on the Cairo cocktail party circuit and can be found working late in his office most nights.

El Baz is a lawyer with a graduate degree in international law from Harvani, and wrote most of the historic speech Sadat delivered in the Kuesset. He is the brother of Farouk El Baz, the NASA space scientist.

MAJ. GEN. TAILA MAGDOUB, 53, an armor officer, secretary general of the National Defense Council and an old hand at dealing with Israeli negotiators. He was the chief military representatives at the famous Kilometer 101 talks after the 1973 war and was the chief Egyptian military delegate at the Geneva peace conference that met briefly that year. He is also well known to the Americans from his tenure as director of liaison to the American-staffed Sinai field mission, which watches for violations of the second Sinai disengagement agreement.

Gen. Magdoub has wirtten two books but like almost all Egyptian military officers, he stays out of the headlines except when he is chosen for special assignment such as this. He is a dark-skinned Nubian from Upper Egypt, something of a rarity in the top levels of Egyptian government.