LA PAZ – Bolivian President Evo Morales said on Wednesday he was hopeful that the upcoming decision by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on his country’s demand that Chile negotiate the return of coastline Santiago occupied following a 19th-century war will mark the start of “a new history” for both countries.
“New diplomatic relations will be able to be built,” Morales said during a brief press conference in the central city of Cochabamba, soon after the ICJ confirmed that it would announce its ruling on Oct. 1.
The president said he hoped that the decision of the Hague-based ICJ would allow Bolivia to “start to resolve pending issues with Chile,” adding that he was convinced that his Chilean counterpart, Sebastian Pińera, also wished to mend ties between the two nations.
According to Morales, one of the Bolivian government’s main objectives is “to not leave unresolved matters for future generations” concerning the country’s relationship with Chile.
The president said he was “very hopeful and expectant” regarding the ICJ’s decision.
Bolivia took the case to the ICJ in 2013.
La Paz based its case on alleged unfulfilled pledges to resolve the issue made by Chile after the War of the Pacific, which ended with the Chileans’ seizing 120,000 sq km of Bolivian territory, including all of its Pacific coastline.
Chile contends that the border dispute was resolved with the signing of a treaty in 1904.
The ICJ’s sentence will be unappealable and mandatory.