THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
President Clinton today met with Ecuadoran President Sixto Duran-Ballen in the White House to discuss the progress that Ecuador and Peru have made toward resolving their long-standing border dispute. The President met with Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori on May 21.
President Clinton praised an agreement, reached between the two countries' Foreign Ministers in Buenos Aires last week, on a framework for negotiations of substantive issues, and he expressed his appreciation for President Duran-Ballen's personal role in promoting the accord. He said, "With the negotiating approach now in place, Ecuador and Peru are poised to make real progress in addressing the problems that have divided them for much of the past century and a half."
The agreement of Buenos Aires was reached with the participation and assistance of the four Guarantors to the Rio Protocol -- the United States, Brazil, Chile and Argentina. U.S. mediator Luigi Einaudi worked closely with all the parties to help produce this positive result. The U.S. Government recently renewed for 90 days, until September 8, its military support package for the Peru-Ecuador border monitoring force.
The President called on both countries to resolve their dispute as expeditiously as possible. "Let us continue to work together to resolve this long-festering dispute in our hemisphere. The hostility such conflict engenders is a millstone for both nations and the hemisphere," he said.
# # #