Peru asks Ecuador to halt construction of border wall

LIMA (Reuters) - Peru asked Ecuador on Monday to “immediately” stop building a wall along the two South American countries’ 1,529-km (950.08-mile) border and has called for an urgent bilateral meeting to discuss the issue, Peru’s foreign ministry said.

In a statement, the ministry said it had asked Ecuador’s ambassador to deliver a letter saying that the wall would hurt cross-border integration. It could also disrupt the flow of water in a canal that separates the two countries, raising flood risks for Peruvian cities, the ministry added.

Ecuador has said that the wall was necessary to stop smuggling.

Territorial disputes led to a three-year war between the two countries in the 1990s. Cross-border trade remains fluid, though passage of contraband is common, according to Peruvian police.

Reporting by Teresa Cespedes; Writing by Luc Cohen; Editing by Richard Chang