September 21, 2020

Evo Morales formally invites Piñera to "restart the dialogue" on the sea

Evo Morales formally invites Piñera to "restart the dialogue" on the sea



The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, today announced the sending of a letter to his Chilean counterpart, Sebastián Piñera, to "restart the dialogue" on Bolivian demand for a sovereign exit to the Pacific Ocean.

"The Plurinational State of Bolivia invites the Government of the Republic of Chile to restart the dialogue," said Evo Morales in reading the letter, in an appearance before the media at the headquarters of the Bolivian Executive in La Paz.

Morales stressed that with this shipment to Chile, the Government of Bolivia is complying with the recent ruling of the court in The Hague.

On October 1, the International Court of Justice of the United Nations based in this Dutch city determined that Chile is not legally bound to negotiate with Bolivia, in response to the Bolivian demand presented in 2013.

However, the Bolivian president stressed that the court states in its ruling that although Chile does not have that obligation, that does not prevent the two countries from discussing, "beyond the strictly legal sphere" of the ruling of the court.

By virtue of this spirit, the letter urges dialogue "to address the issues related to the situation of confinement in Bolivia," said the Bolivian head of state.

Also, this dialogue would address all the issues "that have been recognized by both sides of mutual interest" within the framework of "a good neighborly relationship," he added.

The purpose, added Morales, is to give "continuity to the efforts that both countries made to forge adequate solutions to our pending issues."

The Bolivian president said that his government respects the decision of the court, after a few days ago questioned it by denouncing a series of "contradictions" in the ruling.

The Morales Executive based its request to The Hague in a series of offers made since the last century by Chilean authorities to deal with this litigation, which they believe generated a right in their favor to force a dialogue with Chile, although the court rejected that suppose a legal obligation.

In addition, the Bolivian government argued that the conflict did not solve the 1904 treaty between both nations, which fixed the borders after the war with Chile in which Bolivia lost its exit to the sea in 1879.

Evo Morales reiterated that despite the adverse ruling on his country, the court recognizes in its ruling that the treaty did not solve pending issues between both countries.

Morales explained in his brief appearance that the letter was sent to a meeting with members of his cabinet and the agent of Bolivia before The Hague, Eduardo Rodríguez.

Two days after the ruling, Sebastián Piñera urged to turn the page of this litigation with Bolivia to focus on other issues on Chile's international agenda.

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