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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 298-99
June 17, 1999

CEREMONY CLOSING THE MILITARY OBSERVER MISSION ECUADOR-PERU

The Military Observer Mission Ecuador-Peru (MOMEP) formally closed today at a ceremony in Patuca, Ecuador. The U.S. ambassadors to Peru and Ecuador as well as the Commander, U.S. Army-South participated in the ceremony.

From 1995 to today, the United States has participated with Argentina, Brazil, and Chile in Operation SAFE BORDER, providing observers, logistics, and aviation support to the MOMEP contingent. All foreign military personnel who participated in MOMEP, including the U.S. contingent, will be entirely withdrawn from the area by June 30.

The MOMEP was created by the United States, Argentina, Chile and Brazil to verify ceasefire agreements in disputed areas following a border conflict that erupted between Ecuador and Peru in January 1995. This conflict saw large number of troops mobilized on both sides of the border and dozens of casualties, creating the threat of general war in the region.

Subsequent to a cease fire in 1995 brokered by the four Guarantor nations of the 1942 Rio Protocol (United States, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil), the MOMEP was placed in the disputed border area between Ecuador and Peru to observe and report infractions through diplomatic channels pending political negotiations.

On Oct. 26, 1998, Peru and Ecuador signed a comprehensive peace accord establishing the framework for ending a border dispute more than a century old. This led to formal demarcation of border regions on May 13, 1999. The peace agreement was approved by both nations and ratified without opposition by both nations' national legislatures.

This successful multinational effort has brought a lasting solution to a border dispute that threatened the futures of Ecuador and Peru, helping create the conditions and framework for peace, prosperity, and the continued development of democratic institutions within both the region and the hemisphere.

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