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Cablegate: Ecuador-Chile: Presidents Sign Joint Declaration

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

021718Z Dec 05



E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: LIMA 5145

1. Summary: During a six hour visit to Ecuador on December
1, Chile's President Ricardo Lagos and President Alfredo
Palacio signed seven bilateral agreements and issued a
declaration on maritime limits between South American
countries on the Pacific. The declaration echoed statements
made by both countries' FMs on November 25, rejecting
maritime border claims in Peru's Maritime Limits Law passed
November 3. Lagos also agreed to invest $430 million in
Ecuador's petroleum industry. End Summary.

2. President Ricardo Lagos of Chile, on a long-planned
farewell visit to Ecuador, met with President Palacio on
December 1. The visit, originally scheduled for April of
this year, had been postponed due to political instability in

GOE and GOC Agree on Maritime Boundaries

3. The two Presidents issued a 52-point joint declaration
reiterating that both countries respected the international
agreements of 1952 and 1954 on maritime boundaries. For its
part, the GOP responded that the GOE-GOC statement lacked
legal authority and the agreements of the 1950s did not
delineate Peru's maritime border with Chile (RefTel). The
Peruvian Congress passed a law on Maritime Limits on November
3 and since then Chile has been working to gain the support
of Ecuador for its opposing view. On November 25, during a
visit of Chilean FM Ignacio Walker, the Foreign Ministers of
both countries issued a joint statement on the maritime
issue, offering the same opinion that the 1950s agreements
constitute recognition of the maritime border at the
corresponding parallel. Their statement was also publicly
rejected by Peru's MFA.

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Chile To Invest in Petroleum

4. The bilateral commercial agreements reached during Lagos'
visit include an agreement between Petroecuador and Chile's
state petroleum company (ENAP) for Chilean investment in
Ecuador's exploration and exploitation of petroleum for $430
million. Chile's investments in Ecuador are currently
approximately $500 million. The two countries also signed
bilateral agreements on science and technology, labor,
children, space activities, foreign trade, and Modernization
Councils and the Civil Registry. Cooperation agreements were
also reached in the areas of health, tourism, education, and
atomic energy. Also, in the declaration, Ecuador expressed
interest in joining APEC.


5. The visit by Lagos showcased the GOE-GOC's historically
strong ties. It is no surprise that the GOE has sided with
Chile against Peru on the issue of maritime limits, since
Peruvian law treats both maritime borders equally, raising
concern here that, despite the GOP's repeated assurances,
Peru could one day make a similar claim against Ecuador.

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