• Short Summary

    The Parana River has been the source of much disagreement between three South American countries during recent years.

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    The Parana River has been the source of much disagreement between three South American countries during recent years. Rights to the river have been contested by Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. But an agreement may now be near after a meeting between Argentine President Jorge Videla and Paraguay's President Alfred Stroessner.

    SYNOPSIS: The Argentine President began his three-day visit to Paraguay on Wednesday (20 April). It was General Videla's fifth journey to a neighbouring country since he came to power in March last year. He was met at Asuncion Airport by President Stroessner and members of Paraguay's government. There were strong hopes among officials accompanying the Argentine President that agreements could be reached on a number of subjects. But in particular, the use of the Parana River for hydro-electric purposes.

    President Stroessner said in his welcoming address that President Videla's visit would help to draw up concrete plans to assist the development of their respective countries. In return, the Argentine leader said that both countries had gone a long way on co-operating in certain fields. But he added that there was still room for extending existing agreements. There were certain areas of mutual interest, he said, that would benefit from co-operation between the two countries.

    Shortly after his arrival, President Videla met the Paraguayan President for discussions on a number of issue. No details were immediately available, but the Parana River was believed to be high on the agenda. A giant dam is already being built across the river by Paraguay and Brazil. The dam -- at Itaipu -- will produce 80 billion kilowatt hours of energy a year when it is completed by the mid-1980s. But it will also greatly reduce the flow of the Parana before it reaches Argentina. And it is on this matter that President Videla has been seeking reassurances from the Paraguayans.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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