Secretary of State George P. Shultz, reflecting President Reagan's growing "impatience" with the failure of foreign forces to leave Lebanon, said here today that a withdrawal "is clearly not going to happen" by the end of this year as had been hoped.
Shultz, talking with reporters on the last stop of a 13-day swing through seven West European countries, said "it is conceivable there might be a schedule by the end of the year" for withdrawal, but that he was not making any predictions.
Although the administration is engaged in an intensive new effort to break the deadlock over troop withdrawals, Shultz, under questioning, would not say whether the United States was putting special pressure on Israel -- different than on Syria and the Palestinians -- to withdraw forces from Lebanon.
He recalled, however, that Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir said several months ago that he felt all foreign forces could be out of Lebanon by the end of this year. "It sounded pretty good, and we all picked up on that and pushed it and used it," Shultz said, "but at any rate, it is clearly not going to happen."
Asked whether any progress could be made on Middle East peace before all foreign troops leave, Shultz said it was "quite conceivable that other things could happen." He cited as an example the possibility that "some reasonable representation arrangement might be made for King Hussein to enter the peace process."
Shultz said he was not predicting this would happen. There have been recent reports from Amman, where Hussein has been meeting with Palestinian officials, that the Jordanians and the Palestinians had pledged to "move together" in whatever peace talks might emerge for a broader Middle East peace.
President Reagan, who will meet with Hussein Tuesday in Washington, has called for some form of association between Jordan and a newly created Palestinian self-governing entity on the West Bank. Getting Hussein to the negotiating table is viewed as crucial by U.S. officials, but the Jordanian king has made clear he wants authorization from the Arab world.
[Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat was quoted as saying that he has reached an agreement with Jordan on "a future confederation between an independent Palestinian state and Jordan," United Press International reported. In an interview published by the Beirut weekly An Nahar Arab International, he was quoted as speaking of "two united countries" with "separate identities" on the Israeli-occupied West Bank.]
In response to reports in Washington that Reagan is growing impatient with certain Israeli demands regarding the withdrawal of forces from Lebanon, Shultz said it was "a fair enough statement to say the president is impatient and so is everybody else involved." But he did not link that impatience specifically to the Israelis.
Shultz, in talks with reporters, also reiterated his view that the recent informal Soviet proposal for a reduction in its missile arsenal aimed at Europe in return for no deployment of new American weapons was not acceptable.
He added that the sense that he has received from leaders he met with on this trip is that as "the reality becomes greater and greater" that the West will go ahead with the new deployments, "the Soviets will have to do something themselves" if they are to stop the deployment.