President Anwar Sadat today declared he was satisfied with the pace of Palestinian autonomy talks and said he will travel by yacht to Israel next month in a continuing effort to solidify his peace agreement with Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
Sadat announced his travel plans at a joint news conference with Begin following two days of talks hare during which the two leaders said they agreed to disagree on the key irritant of Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank of the Jordan River. They agreed to concentrate instead on what Sadat called a "survey of the whole situation."
Sadat and Begin characterized their two sessions together here, totaling about three hours, as warm and successful, marking another step toward improving bilateral relations and giving new impetus to the separate talks on Palestinina autonomy.
They declined to detail what constituted the success, aside from the fact that the two former enemies were holding friendly conversations in the humid heat of this ancient resort on the Mediterranean Sea.
Sadat's decision to visit the northern Israeli port of Haifa near the end of August, however, marks a departure of sorts from the expected pace of Egyptian-Israeli normalization. It had been generally expected he would hold off on any new visit to Israel until Begin's government made significant concessions in the negotiations on setting up autonomous rule in Gaza and the West Bank.
He presumably will travel to Haifa on the presidential motor yacht "Horriyah," or Liberty. This is the vessel King Farouk sailed away on after he was desposed in July 1952 in the coup led by Gamal Abdel Nasser with the help of a then little-known officer - Anwar Sadat.
Sadat, responding to a reporter's question, said he was satisfied with the autonomy negotiations so far despite the disagreement over settlements. He added, "We are cognizant of the fact that we have time."
This seemed to coincide with the American position voiced recently by U.S. special envoy Robert Strauss. U.S. diplomats generally have predicted little will happen in the talks during the first few months, and Strauss has said he expects to get involved in earnest only next fall.
The Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty signed in Washington on March 26 calls for agreement between Egypt and Israel on elections to choose Palestinian members of a self-governing body for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip by next May.
The talks are scheduled to resume Aug. 5 at Hertzllia, a beachside suburb of Tel Aviv. But Israeli spokesman Dan Pattir said the talks here and those scheduled at the end of August in Haifa are not tied to the autonomy talks.
The Alexandria discussions, the eighth Sadat-Begin meeting since Sadat visited Jerusalem in November 1977, seemed rather a part of a sustained effort to transform Egypt and Israel from 30-year enemies into friendly neighbors.Pattir said there will be more Begin-Sadat meetings after Haifa, perhaps including one on the Red Sea separating southern Egypt from Saudi Arabia.
After discussions here, Begin visited a museum of Greek and Roman antiques and attended a dinner held in his honor by Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa Khalil. The Israeli leader was scheduled to leave directly for Israel Thursday morning.
Begin's advisers, in describing the Alexandria meeting to reporters, walked a semantical tightrope as they sougth to convey the impression of substantive progress without suggesting that Begin and Sadat were neegotiating on a practical level.
One Begin aide drew a portrait of relaxed, informal discussions in which the two leaders brought up many unrelated topics spontaneously, not so much with the intent of nailing down a commitment but in anticipation that agreement in principle would serve as a guideline for the negotiating committees that are wrestling with Palestinian autonomy and the process of normalizing relations between Egypt and Israel.
For example, Begin raised the problem of delays in the granting of Egyptian visas to Israeli tourists, and Sadat assured the prime minister Egypt would try to speed up the process, an Israeli source said. Also, Begin raised the topic of maritime travel between the two countries, and Sadat offered reassurances.
"These things were brought up in the context of policymakers looking for a meeting ground," a Begin aide said. "The executors of policy will take it from there."
Similarly, practical discussions on ways to elect Palestinian representatives to a West Bank-Gaza Strip self-governing council were discussed not with the intent of negotiating an agreement here, but for the guidance of the autonomy negotiating committees.
Pattir dismissed the notion that after eight meetings Begin and Sadat should be well acquainted with each other's positions and seemingly ready to barter on the issues.
"Camp David doesn't mean there aren't other things to talk about now." Pattir said. "This is a dynamic process."
Begin and Sadat met reporters in the cavernous, baroque-style dining room of the opulent Rasl Al-Tin summer palace built by Farouk's father King Fahd.They said they discussed, in addition to the settlements, the escalating violence in southern Lebanon, where Israeli troops and war-planes have been conducting almost daily raids against Palestinian guerilla bases.
Although the two leaders said they agreed on the basic premise that the "integrity" of Lebanon should be maintained, it was obvious from their remarks that they reached this conclusion along different paths.
"We should never be for any partition, or anything that may cause any distintegration of Lebanon," Sadat said, in what appeared to be a veiled reference to Israeli bombing there.
For his part, Begin also said he supported territorial integrity of Lebanon, but he pointedly referred to the Palestine Liberation Organization's headquarters in Beirut, and warned of the danger of the Christian minority "being wiped out." CAPTION: Picture, Israel's Begin and Egypt's Sadat conclude two days of talks in Alexandria, Egypt. AP