Former President Jimmy Carter said Saturday he is prepared to mediate the conflict between Peru and Ecuador if both countries request it.

In a statement, Carter said he and former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias were willing to act as intermediaries."President Carter and President Arias have indicated they are prepared to consider getting involved if the parties felt it was useful," a Carter spokeswoman said.

On Tuesday, Carter and Arias issued a statement urging the two countries to declare a cease-fire and calling on the Organization of American States or the United Nations to mediate.

In a joint statement they said they "urgently request that both Ecuador and Peru declare a cease-fire and permit international mediation that will end the crisis and resolve the problem definitively."

Carter and Arias are members of the Council of Freely Elected Heads of Government, a group of 24 current and former presidents and prime ministers from the Western Hemisphere who have monitored elections throughout Latin America.