THURMONT, Md. -- Sending the Camp David summit into overtime, President Clinton delayed his departure for Japan by a day to give Mideast negotiators a last chance to break their deadlock. He opened the ninth day of talks Wednesday by meeting with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
With pressure building, Israel said ''it seems'' that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak had decided to stop the talks and return home. But the White House said it had not been informed about anyone planning to leave.
''There is a lot of stuff that flies around the air that's not worth a lot but fills some column inches and makes some people happy and bumps you up wherever you are in the news report, but just has no reflection of what's going on,'' presidential spokesman Joe Lockhart said.
Explaining Clinton's decision to delay his trip, Lockhart said, ''It's a judgment that the president made that it was useful and in the interests of the peace process to do that but it's not an open-ended commitment.'' He said the president planned to get on Air Force One sometime overnight and fly to Asia.
The Israeli statement, issued by telephone by the prime minister's office and attributed to senior sources, did not specify when the Israeli team planned to leave.
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