The Soviet Union said today that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's peace initiative had "faded away like a mirage in the Sinai desert" because of Israeli intransigence.
In the view of several Western diplomatic sources here, the comments published in the Communist Party newspaper Pravda reflect on the conviction of Soviet leaders that the Sadat attempts to achieve a peace agreement in the Middle East have run their course and that the time is at hand for renewed. Soviet attempts to try for a Geneva conference.
These sources say, however, that they see little hope of the Soviets achieving this aim, because of disagreements among the Arab nations and outright opposition of several to a Geneva parley.
The Soviets noted approvingly today that "the deadlock in Israeli-Egyptian negotiations shows once again that the separate actions to which Cairo continues to cling (are) unable to bring peace to the Middle East."
The commentary in Pravda accused Washington of supporting what it called "Cairo's anti-Sovietism, its favorable attitude to Western monopolies and its opposition to the progressive Arab regimes."
In a separate commentary on Tass, the official government press service Sergei Losev declared that Sadat faces continued setbacks if he "banks on a United States 'shuttle' mediation between Cairo and Tel Aviv. It is common knowledge that the so-called shuttle diplomacy used under (former secretary of state Henry) Kissinger has long discredited itself."
Losev added that his sure Sadat's requests for advanced American weaponry will be denied because "the final decision on this will be taken by the American Congress, where the influence of the Zionist lobby is very strong in midterm election years."
The Soviet Union has long taken the line that only a resumption of the Geneva conference, which met only once in 1973, can achieve a comprehensive peace settlement and insure that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) will be represented at any negotiation.
Soviet leaders clearly were gratified when President Carter's administration initiated a joint statement of U.S. Soviet intentions to work together toward resumption of the Geneva talks. The Sadat moves that began several months ago and included face-to-face talks between the Egyptian leader and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin superceded the joint statement.
But diplomats here pointed out that while they opposed the Sadat moves, the Soviets still were unable to achieve unity among the so-called "rejectionist front" of Arab nations which are similarly inclined. "The Soviets can take great pleasure at the apparent lack of progress, but that may not benefit them in any way," commented one source.