Israeli and Palestinian leaders settled in for a second day of peace talks Friday at a rustic Chesapeake Bay retreat, trying to get the derailed Middle East peace process back on track.
After convening the talks Thursday in a small wooden building on the banks of the Wye River, President Clinton returned to Washington, leaving Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to oversee Friday's meeting. Clinton intended to stay in touch with her by phone.
"We must remember as we come together again that, in the end, peace is more than a process; it is, in the end, a destination," Mr. Clinton said in a brief statement after an Oval Office meeting with the two leaders.
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are staying on Wye River Plantation, a secluded retreat along Maryland's eastern shore, where they will spend parts of the next five days trying to reach a deal, CBS News White House Correspondent Scott Pelley reports.
Thursday's first session started about 5:15 p.m. EDT, White House press secretary Joe Lockhart said, and broke up at 8:40 p.m. It included a group meeting of all three delegations, plus separate one-on-one meetings between Clinton and the two other leaders. Arafat and Netanyahu did not meet alone but probably will, State Department spokesman James Rubin said.
Rubin refused to discuss the substance of the meetings. He said the first day of meetings showed the parties are interested in "creating a constructive and pragmatic relationship."
The summit is expected to conclude Sunday, but Rubin did not rule out an extension.
The goal of the summit is to get an agreement from Israelis on troop withdrawal from an additional 13 percent of the West Bank, in exchange for a guarantee from Palestinians that they make the area secure from terrorist attacks against Israel.
Netanyahu, speaking to reporters in the White House driveway before departing for Wye River, said Israelis want, first and foremost, assurances that the Palestinians will "fight terrorism in word and deed."
"We come with the best intentions and we hope that there will be an accord," he said. "We're asked to give additional territory; we want to ensure that this territory doesn't become a base and a haven for terrorists to attack us, as happened before."
When asked for a response to Netanyahu's statement, Arafat told reporters in Washington, "Peace is the most important platform for security, and he has to remember this."
While Albright and Mr. Clinton will be available during the summit, both stressed Thursday that their roles would be as facilitators. President Clinton has cut short Friday's fund-raising schedule so that he can offer his counsel at any time.
Breaking the deadlock between the two sides depends on whether the Palestinians agree to a verifiable, formulated security arrangement.
Israel demands that the Palestinians root out the terrorist infrastructure of the militant Islamic extremist group Hamas; reduce their police force from 40,000 to the 24,000 agreed upon in talks at Oslo, Norway; and cut the flow of illegal arms into Palestinian territories.