September 28, 1998
Peru, Ecuador seek outside help for peace treaty

                  BRASILIA (Reuters) -- The presidents of Ecuador and Peru on
                  Monday asked the four guarantor nations of their 1942 bilateral peace
                  treaty to help demarcate their border in a bid to at last bring an end to the

                  Presidents Jamil Mahuad of Ecuador and Alberto Fujimori of Peru made the
                  request in a letter presented to Brazilian President Fernando Henrique
                  Cardoso after two days of peace talks in the Brazilian capital.

                  "We have made very important progress on the subject of the common
                  border. ... We are closer than before to a solution, but we still do not have
                  the definitive formula," Mahuad said at a joint news conference with Fujimori
                  and Cardoso.

                  Brazil, Argentina, Chile and the United States are the guarantor nations that
                  have taken part in regular meetings to discuss the last remaining obstacles to
                  a permanent peace treaty between Ecuador and Peru.

                  Mahuad and Fujimori pledged to meet again to continue looking for a
                  solution to the century-old dispute over border demarcation, the main hurdle
                  to signing a peace accord.

                  They said they are confident an agreement can be reached before the end of
                  the year.

                  Fujimori said he is optimistic a "global and definitive accord" can be struck,
                  saying Peru and Ecuador are "halfway down the road that separates us."

                  The two countries agreed last month to separate troops along the disputed
                  border, ending their worst standoff since a brief but bloody war in 1995 in
                  which dozens of soldiers died.

                  That accord, struck in mid-September, created a neutral zone south of the
                  existing demilitarized area. The newly created zone is 300 miles (480 km)
                  long and 1.8 miles (three km) wide.

                  Mahuad and Fujimori held talks Sunday in which they approved a plan that
                  could restart trade and transport along the disputed border area, one of four
                  measures to be included in the final version of a peace pact.

                  The two countries asked the Foreign Observers Team, which includes
                  guarantor nations, to draft a plan to remove land mines and anti-personnel
                  devices from the border area.

                  Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited.