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Clinton's Oslo Trip A First

Just hours before President Clinton left Washington last weekend for Norway, Egyptair Flight 767 plunged into the Atlantic. As a result, not much about the president's trip to Norway received as much attention as it otherwise would have. CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller reviews the events that took place in Oslo.

It was a first as the president arrived in Norway. Never before had an American president set foot in that Scandinavian nation of 4.5 million. After a Halloween flight from Washington, the president arrived in Norway looking for a diplomatic treat.

"Coming here to honor the memory of Yitzhak Rabin, who gave his life for this peace process -- it's a good thing to do," said Mr. Clinton.

Now, four years to the day after the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, world leaders gathered to pay tribute, and renew their commitment to his dream of a Middle East peace.

"Yitzhak Rabin's life was a lesson, teaching us that old fears and suspicions and hatreds can, in fact, be overcome," said the president.

In the same Oslo atrium in which Rabin received a peace prize five years earlier, the peace process he began was entering its most difficult stage.

"If Rabin were here with us today, he would say, 'There is not a moment to spare. All this honoring me, and nice words, are very nice, but, please, finish the job,'" Mr. Clinton said.

To that end, the president met late that day with Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to help them move toward resolving the toughest issues between them, including control of Jerusalem and the question of a Palestinian state.

"I feel that we have revitalized the peace process and got these final status -- the framework talks off to a very good start," said Mr. Clinton.

Now, a senior administration official tells CBS News that that Israeli and Palestinian politics could push Barak and Arafat toward reaching a final agreement by their target date of next September. Both Barak and Arafat have political constituencies looking for them each to deliver in the not too distant future.