Egyptian President Anwar Sadat announced in Cairo yesterday that Egypt had established direct contact with Israel in preparation for peace negotiations.
He told television reporters that Vice President Hosni Mubarak had been named to lay the groundwork for talks on the Camp David peace agreements, but did not say with whom Mubarak was talking on the Israeli side.
Sadat said the Camp David accords mean solution of a Middle Eastern problem, "that has lasted 30 years with four ways and hatred and bitterness." He said: "All this is turning now to friendship and good neighborliness."
The state-controlled Cairo Radio said in its daily commentary that the sensible path for Israel to follow in establishing a durable peace with all its neighbors is to drop what it termed the concept of expansion.
"Israel is requested to do more than evacuate the settlements in Sinai," it said. "It is requested to give up this concept completely in its relations with the Arab world as a whole."
Elsewhere in the Middle East, other Arab leaders were planning consultations about the Camp David accords.
Syrian President Hafez Assad, who has denounced the agreements, was to arrive in Amman today for talks with King Hussein of Jordan. It will be his first visit to the Jordanian capital in about a year. Assad is expected to go on to other Arab nations.
Diplomatic sources said President Carter's roving Middle East envoy, Alfred Atherton, also plans a visit to Amman to continue efforts, begun by Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, to persuade Hussein to join the current peace moves.
Atherton flew to Tehran yesterday for talks with the shah of Iran after having what he described as useful talks with government leaders in Kuwait. With the Hussein-Assad talks set for today, diplomatic sources said that Atherton probably would wait until tomorrow to go to Jordan and that his visit might be delayed even more by an expected tour of key Arab states by Hussein.
The official Jordan news agency said Hussein would leave within a few days, and government sources said his first stop would be Saudi Arabia. Diplomats said this would be a crucial meeting because of the Saudis' role in giving financial support to other Arab states.
In other Middle East developments:
France announced it would send fresh troops to Lebanon to replace its 1,500 men serving with the U.N. peacekeeping force there.
Fighting between Christian rightists and Syrian troops of the Arab peacekeeping force continued in Beirut after a weekend of heavy rocket and mortar fire.
Salah Khalaf, second in command of Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said President Carter had opened "a new kind of war" against the PLO when he likened it to the Ku Klux Klan and the Communist and Nazi parties in remarks at a town meeting in Aliquippa, Pa.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Saadon Hamadi told the U.N. General Assembly in New York that the Camp David agreements are "a frame for a humiliating capitulation treaty."
Oman's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement issued in Muscat that "certain aspects" of the Camp David accords represent "tangible progress." The statement urged the Arab world not to let the agreements deepen the differences among them.