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  HOME | Bolivia

Evo Morales Extends a Friendly Hand to Chile before Hague Court Ruling

LA PAZ – Bolivian President Evo Morales said on Saturday that he is again reaching out to Chile so that, with the ruling of the International Court of Justice in The Hague this Oct. 1, a new era will begin with the start of negotiations to assure his country’s sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean.

“I reach out to them in the spirit of brotherhood – together we can do this,” Morales said in a statement to the media in the city of El Alto near La Paz, before boarding a plane to The Hague.

Morales in reference to the Chilean people said the Bolivian lawsuit “cannot and should not be considered an unfriendly act,” but rather a chance for the two countries to come together once more.

“Our demand is based on commitments made by Chile to come to the negotiating table,” the Bolivian head of state said.

He added that the accords between Bolivia and Chile, which in the past did not end well, “deserve a new chance” through dialogue and effective, opportune negotiations in good faith.

“Starting Monday a new era could begin, after which we should be able to hand down to the next generation a brotherly relationship,” the Bolivian president said.

Morales left this Saturday at around 8:40 am from El Alto International Airport with a government commission that this Monday will witness the sentence being announced by the court in The Hague.

During his appearance, the president said that all Bolivians of this and other generations have been the ones who have constructed the case against Chile for maritime access, and will therefore stand together “without divisions, without any differences” among them on Oct. 1.

Morales also said that Bolivia “will never abandon” its maritime demand, and that regaining access to the sea “is not only possible, it is inevitable.”

Bolivia presented in 2013 a lawsuit against Chile asking the International Court of Justice to rule that its southern neighbor must negotiate its sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean in line with offers made in the past by various Chilean governments, and which, he believes, created obligations in Bolivia’s favor.

Chile maintains that matters to do with their mutual border were resolved in the treaty of 1904, and therefore the Bolivian suit has no basis in law.

The Oct. 1 sentence must be obeyed and will not be subject to appeal, which signifies that it will be the final episode in this case.

 

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