After two lengthy meetings with Israeli Defense Minister Ezer Weizman, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat said yesterday that Israel and Egypt are "still speaking two different languages" on how to achieve peace in the Middle East.
Weizman, who met with Sadat and Egyptian War Minister General Mohammed Abdel Ghani Gamassy under extraordinary security precautions, returned to Israel and went into immediate talks on his mission with Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
In Egypt, the only news reports of the two meetings came from the official Cairo Radio, which quoted a presidential spokesman as saying a two-hour meeting Thursday made no progress toward breaking a deadlock in the Arab-Israeli peace negotiations.
However, in a closed-door meeting with a group of 70 visiting American business executives who are in Cairo as part of a Time Magazine-sponsored tour, Sadat reportedly offered a glomy characterization of the Weizman meeting.
Reporters who attempted to enter the meeting were barred at the request of the magazine, but the Associated Press reported that Sadat told the gathering that "Until this moment, really, there is a very severe difference, and it is mainly in the field of solving the Palestinian question."
(The Los Angeles Times reported that an Associated Press reporter who was ejected from the meeting left behind a tape recorder and caught a portion of Sadat's remarks.)
Sadat reportedly told the businessmen, "We are still speaking two different languages until this moment." He added, however, "Let us hope that in the future and by keeping in contact and with the help of President Carter . . . that we can reach one language and give momentum to the peace process."
In Israel, there has been an almost total news blackout on the Weizman mission. The defense minister made no statements either upon his departure or on his arrival and, following a 40-minute meeting with Begin yesterday afternoon, he would say only that he has never been a pessimist and would not become one now. Weizman is scheduled to report to the Israeli Cabinet on his Cairo mission Sunday.
The news from Egypt was almost totally pessimistic, however, Both the official spokesman and the Egyptian press took a negative line on the talks, saying that negotiations were still stalled because the Israelis had brought no new porposals. The semiofficial newspaper Al Ahram was quoted here yesterday as saying that Begin had sent Weizman to Cairo to win time in the eyes of the Americans But the real winner, the paper said, was Egypt, because Israel's true position was now exposed to the world.
The Weizman mission is being interpreted here as having been an attempt to get direct talks with the Egyptians going again after Begin's failure in Washington to win the Carter administration over to his point of view.
The indications are that Weizman did not succeed in reaching any agreement on a joint declaration of principles with the Egyptians - the declaration that is supposed to set the scene for future negotiations of both the Political and Military Committees whose deliberations were suspended in January.
It is not known, however, if Weizman managed to narrow the gap between Israeli and Egyptian positions during his two sessions with Sadat. Yet, it is likely that Israel will attempt to put as good a face on the Weizman mission as possible, no matter how bad the reaction from Cairo. A complete failure in Cairo, following what most Israelis consider to have been the complete failure of the Begin trip to Washington, will not improve public morale.
A nation-wide journalists strike of all television radio and newspaper reporters, scheduled to begin on Sunday, may soften the blow, however. Whatever criticism there may arise will not be publicized, unless the strike is averted at the last minute.