Egypt is drafting a new Middle East peace plan that will be presented to U.S. officials this week, Foreign Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Kamel said yesterday.
The announcement, made just before Vice President Mondale's diplomatic mission to Israel and Egypt, comes amid new stirrings of activity in the stalled Middle East peace negotiations.
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat met for two hours yesterday in Alexandria with U.S. Ambassador Hermann Eilts, who delivered a message from President Carter and received a reply, the official Middle East News Agency said.
"The general situation is developing into a serious attempt from the side of Carter to start the wheel of peace spinning," Sadat was later reported to have said.
On Friday, U.S. officials said in Washington that Secretary of State Cyrus Vance planned to meet with Kamel and Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan in London in July.
Kamel said yesterday that there was a "possibility" he and Dayan would meet with each other in London. It would be the first meeting between high-ranking officials from the two countries since Israeli Defense Minister Ezer Weizman called on Sadat in March.
Actual negotiations between the two countries broke down in January when sharp disagreements arose over the conditions under which Israel would return the Sinai peninsula, captured from Egypt in the 1967 war.
A week ago, the Israeli Cabinet, in a move criticized by Egypt and the United States, endorsed Prime Minister Menachem Begin's refusal to commit Israel to an eventual return of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip to Arab sovereignty.
The new plan being drafted by Egypt is expected to contain a number of prosposals made by Sadat in recent speeches that have been under discussion by Egyptian and American officials for many weeks.
The Middle East News Agency quoted Kamel as saying that the plan would be based on Sadat's suggestion that the Gaza Strip be returned to Egyptian control and the West Bank be returned to Jordan as part of a peace settlement.
Sadat proposed the idea last month as an alternative to negotiating with Israel for creation of a Palestinian state - an idea Israel opposes.
Sadat repeated the proposal last week, saying that after Israel returned the two territories, the three countries and the Palestinians could discuss security arrangements.
Begin's government, however, has said repeatedly that it would not return the occupied territories until effective security arrangements have been made.
Sadat has said that the Sinai peninsular "is not a subject of discussion at all" because it is a part of Egypt and must be "unconditionally abandoned by Israel."
The Egyptian proposals and the position of the Carter administration are not far apart, but Israel has rejected the key points of what is expected to by the new Egyptian peace plan.