Secretary of State George P. Shultz called yesterday for "a new blend of approaches" to get the deadlocked Middle East peace process moving again amid indications visiting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the Reagan administration have failed to arrive at any agreement on an approach toward a new peace initiative.
"I believe we have come to the point where illusions about the past and old approaches to resolve the problems need to be tested against the new realities," Shultz said in a luncheon toast to Mubarak at the State Department.
"We must find a way to take what's best from past experience and what's imaginative from the present and create a new blend of approaches for pursuing peace in the Middle East," he added.
Shultz's comments followed three days of discussions between Mubarak and his aides and top administration officials, including President Reagan, on ways to relaunch the peace process in a bid to end the violence in the Israeli-occupied territories.
Throughout his official state visit here, Mubarak sought to persuade the administration and Congress to support a U.N.-sponsored international peace conference as an umbrella for direct Arab-Israeli negotiations. Mubarak is scheduled to deliver a speech before the Council on World Affairs in Dallas before departing Saturday evening for France.
Shultz, in a veiled reference to renewed U.S. doubts about the wisdom of pressing for an international conference, warned that such "good ideas" would remain "useless if they do not find an expression in action."
While he said the United States would pursue "any avenue" to revive the peace process, "including an international conference . . . we remain convinced that direct face-to-face negotiations is the way to achieve results."
Mubarak said he had listened "carefully and attentively" to the "new ideas" proposed by the administration during his visit and promised to examine them "thoroughly" in the weeks ahead.
Neither side indicated what these "new ideas" were. But in an interview with the Associated Press yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir said the talks here had concentrated "on the question of substance, not of procedure" and that the focus was an interim solution allowing for local autonomy of the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Such a solution, he said, would be "more or less" along the lines spelled out in the 1978 Camp David accords signed by Israel, Egypt and the United States but never implemented. Shamir said he was ready to discuss "all these matters in the footsteps of the Camp David agreement" and to discuss "some proposals about changes" in it if necessary.
But Mubarak on Thursday told Senate and House delegations that he thought the Camp David provisions for local autonomy were now "a dead letter" and "an idea whose time has past," according to one congressional participant.
Shamir also said Israel would allow new elections in the territories, adding "these elected persons will be recognized by us as the legitimate representation of the Palestinian Arabs."
The Israeli government has removed, or deported, all but one of the elected Palestinian municipal mayors and has not allowed elections since 1976.
Mubarak said last night on PBS' "MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour" that Israeli officials have told him Israel has ceased all new settlement activity on the West Bank, and Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin, interviewed on the same program, said he was "unaware of any plans" for new settlements in the coming months.
As part of their 1984 agreement to establish a coalition government, Israel's Likud and Labor parties vowed they would develop only five or six of the 27 new West Bank settlements that had been planned.
Meanwhile, two envoys close to Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, who strongly favors an international conference, arrived here yesterday. They are Nimrod Novik, a political adviser to Peres, and Simcha Dinitz, former Israeli ambassador here and a prominent Labor Party member.
The two Israeli envoys were believed to be discussing the results of Mubarak's visit here as well as Shultz's "new ideas" for reviving the peace talks.