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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 November 2006, 03:22 GMT
S American 12 cut travel red tape
The governments of 12 countries in South America have signed an agreement to allow their citizens to travel between them without passports.

The measure, designed to boost tourism and business activity, allows travellers to cross borders for up to 90 days, with only an identity card.

It was agreed at a meeting of the South American Community of Nations in the Chilean capital, Santiago.

Cooperation will also be extended on other social and political issues.

Visa-free travel "represents a step in our efforts to eliminate our traditional divisions," said Chilean Foreign Minister Alejandro Foxley.

Mr Foxley said that three basic areas were important to boost regional integration - transport, energy, and the reduction of social inequalities.

The countries covered by the new agreement are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

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