Any positive results from King Hassan II's controversial summit meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres risk dying on the vine without quick and effective Israeli -- and possibly U.S. government -- follow through, western and Arab diplomats said today.
The Moroccan monarch's conviction that a next step must come from Israel was underlined by the absence of any mention of a new meeting in the joint communique issued today that reported on the still largely unexplained talks in the mountain resort of Ifrane, 100 miles east of here.
Likewise, in his television broadcast last night, the king did not mention another meeting, in contrast with Peres' homecoming statement in Tel Aviv that more meetings were planned.
Peres' obvious satisfaction over simply meeting an Arab leader emphasized his attention to domestic political gains and deepened Arab suspicions that Peres has no intention of seriously following through on any peace initiatives.
Moroccan sources have suggested that the king was both surprised and displeased when Peres arrived without a formal plan for future peace moves.
Diplomats here said Hassan should have realized that little political pressure exists in Israel for Peres to become involved in a peace process since the breakdown of the initiative between Jordan's King Hussein and Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, last February.
Moreover, Hassan may have inadvertently compromised for years the negotiating chances of the Jordanian monarch, still considered the most likely Arab leader to strike a deal directly with Israel over the occupied West Bank, according to a diplomat of a moderate Arab state.
"Hassan went into direct talks with an Israeli leader and asked the two essential questions" -- about recognizing the PLO and evacuating all occupied Arab land -- "and got 'no' for an answer," the diplomat said. "So why should another Arab leader even try since he would have to make further concessions.
"Ambiguity is necessary for any contacts in the near future between Arabs and Israelis," the diplomat added, noting that Hassan must have known that Peres' reply could only be negative to such a direct challenge, given Israel's unswerving public position on both issues.
Even the less pessimistic western diplomat feared that the Ifrane summit "will not mean much unless there is something next."
With the Mideast process near the bottom of Washington's priority list -- and only 10 weeks left before Peres hands power over to his Likud coalition partners -- even the expected Moroccan stopover during Vice President Bush's coming Mideast swing might not prove enough to overcome the Reagan administration's reluctance to become involved actively in the region.
As the results of the Ifrane meeting become clearer, diplomats compared the king's approach and style with that of the late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat's visit to Jerusalem in 1977 which led to a separate peace with Israel.
"Ifrane was a poor imitation of what Sadat did nine years ago," an Arab diplomat said, "Superman II instead of Superman I."
Like Sadat, Hassan consulted with no one before meeting the Israeli leader. He bragged that he needed no one's permission and stressed the necessity of a face-to-face encounter.
But Morocco, which sits on the northwest tip of Africa, is simply too far away from the front lines to influence Mideast events, a fact Hassan has acknowledged.
The king's innermost motivation is still only the subject of speculation. Analysts note his predilection for occupying center stage and his desire to improve his standing in Washington, strained since he signed a treaty of union with Libya's Moammar Gadhafi two years ago.
Seemingly oblivious to the reaction his initiative has set off, Hassan today dispatched messages explaining his position to Arab leaders amid suggestions he favored holding a summit conference to discuss them face-to-face.