Egyptian Vice President Hosni Mubarak, in two days of high-level Washington talks, asked the United States to take a stronger hand in the Middle East to counter major difficulties on several fronts, according to Egyptian sources.
Mubarak, who was dispatched by President Anwar Sadat, met President Reagan and Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger Friday and was Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr.'s guest at a working luncheon yesterday.
Speaking to reporters afterward, Haig called the discussions "very successful" and pledged that the United States will be a "full partner" in the Middle East peace process. He also said there is a "close convergence of outlook and policy" between the United States and Egypt on international questions But he gave no new details of U.S. plans in the area.
News reports from Cairo on the Mubarak mission concentrated on Sadat's growing concern about the possibility of a military confrontation between Sudan and Libya, Sadat's arch enemy. High Egyptian officials said Mubarak is asking Washington to supply additional arms, including anti-aircraft missiles, to Sudan.
The Reagan administration has requested a sharp increase in military sales credits for Sudan to $100 million this year, but the foreign aid bill carrying these funds is bogged down in Congress. Mubarak was reported to have asked the top administration officials to speed military deliveries for Sudan. U.S. officials agreed to review the program.
According to Egyptian sources, the Egyptian vice president also asked the Reagan administration for prompt action to reassure Islamic countries included in the anti-Soviet "strategic consensus" the United States is seeking to construct in the Middle East. Specifically, Mubarak is said to have urged the administration to push hard to supply the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) planes to Saudi Arabia, which Sadat has repeatedly endorsed despite his post-Camp-David estrangement from the Saudis.
Mubarak also asked the administration to speed assistance to Somalia, which has expressed concern about the slow pace of U.S. support under the agreement approved late in the Carter administration and reemphasized early in the Reagan administration. The sources said Mubarak also asked for U.S. reassurance to Oman, which like Somalia has agreed to let American military forces use its facilities in regional operations.
Sadat is reported to be particularly concerned about several developments since his visit to Washington two months ago. These include the Libya-Ethiopia-South Yemen pact concluded in mid-August, Libyan operations along Sudan's border with Chad, and the Iranian air attack on Kuwait. Concurrently, a resurgence of domestic turbulence within Egypt brought a crackdown by Sadat on his opposition, though this was not reported to be a subject of the Egyptian president's current message to Washington.