Egypt began laying the diplomatic groundwork yesterday for resumption of peace talks with Israel and for President Anwar Sadat's trip to Washington with a series of high-level contacts here and abroad.
Deputy Foreign Minister Buntros Ghali flew to Belgrade for a three-day visit, including talks with Yugoslav President Tito. Vice President Hosni Mobarak, after talks with Saudi officials in Riyadh, went to North Yemen, the third stop in an 11-nation tour aimed at gaining support for Egypt's Middle East peace initiative.
Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel briefed diplomatic representatives from 19 Asian countires in Cairo on Egypt's position on the peace talks.
The diplomatic activity came as Sadat prepared for a trip to the United States later this week to discuss the U.S. role in peace efforts.
Sadat is scheduled to meet with president Carter Saturday and Sunday at Camp David, Md. His objectives are expected to be increased international and U.S. support for Egypt's position, tangible evidence of U.S. support, such as F-5 jets, and agreement from Carter that the United States should exert pressure on Israel for concessions.
Sadat, in a letter published in yesterday's editions of the Miami Herald, made a direct call on American Jews to support his efforts for a peace settlement with Israel.
In the letter, written at the invitation of the paper, Sadat said American Jews can have "an important role, in fact a great responsibility, in correcting the course of events to the direction that will be conductive to peace."
The paper said it has also invited Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to express his views.
In response to Sadat's letter, Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, president of the American Jewish Congress, said that "American Jews will not permit themselves to be used to pressure Israel or to pressure our own country to force Israel to surrender to Sadat's take-it-or-leave-it terms."
Meanwhile, two envoys of Iraqi President Ahmad Hassan Bakr left Baghdad for Libya and South Yemen with messages explaining Iraq's refusal to attend this week's second summit meeting of Arab hardline states in Algiers, the Iraq News Agency reported.
Iraq announced Saturday that it would not attend the summit meeting, scheduled to begin Thursday. Iraq attended a similar summit meeting in Tripoli, Libya, in December but refused to join in the final declaration, saying it was not strong enoung in its opposition to Sadat's peace initiative.