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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 5, 1999


President Clinton met this afternoon with President Fujimori of Peru and President Mahuad of Ecuador to help launch a 10-year program aimed at strengthening and integrating communities on each side of the Peru-Ecuador border -- through improved telephone service, oil pipelines, road construction, energy projects, and other efforts to improve the lives of citizens. This new program is designed to reinforce the October 1998 agreement, which the United States helped broker, with Brazil, Argentina and Chile, to settle the long-running border dispute between Peru and Ecuador, the last source of armed international conflict in the Western Hemisphere. It is aimed at preserving the peace and helping Peru and Ecuador build a prosperous future together.

The United States Agency for International Development is assembling a $40 million, three-year package to aid the border program by, among other efforts, supporting micro-entrepreneurs, strengthening local governments, improving health care, and helping to create a "peace park" along the border to enhance natural resource management. President Clinton told the visiting presidents that he will encourage other countries to contribute generously to the program.

Last night, in recognition of his tireless efforts in support of the peace settlement, Ambassador Luigi Einaudi, the United States Special Envoy for the Ecuador/Peru Process, was awarded the Ecuadorian Orden Nacional de Merito al grado Gran Cruz and the Peruvian Orden del Sol al grado Gran Cruz -- two of the highest medals these nations award to foreign dignitaries. President Clinton thanked Presidents Fujimori and Mahuad for recognizing Ambassador Einaudi's achievements. He also once again praised the visiting leaders for their courage and leadership in resolving their countries' long-standing dispute.