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Bolivia takes Chile to ICJ over coast claim

Press TV – April 15, 2014

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales has submitted legal documents to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a bid to gain an access to the Pacific coast for his land-locked country through Chile.

“The Bolivian people hope that the historic wrong that took place will be repaired as soon as possible,” Morales said at the Bolivian Embassy in the Netherlands after personally handing over the documents to the ICJ in The Hague.

Morales was accompanied at The Hague by a strong delegation, including Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca.

Landlocked Bolivia, which still maintains a navy, seeks to force its neighbor to give back a Pacific Ocean passage that it lost in a war with Chile at the end of the 19th Century.

“We have come here to make a historic demand, for Bolivia to regain sovereign access to the sea,” he added.

Bolivia and Chile have had only limited diplomatic relations since 1978. Unfruitful negotiations with Santiago over the issue prompted La Paz to lodge a complaint to the ICJ for the first time in April 2013.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said last month that the court case had closed the door on any hopes of a bilateral deal.

“We are very clear that we respect international treaties… but we are going to first analyze the Bolivian case in order to decide how we proceed,” Bachelet said shortly before Morales submitted the documents to the ICJ on Tuesday.

Chile says its border with Bolivia was fixed by a treaty signed by the two countries in 1904, which cost Bolivia some 120 kilometers (75 miles) of coast and 120,000 square kilometers (46,332 square miles) of arid land where many of the world’s top copper reserves are located.

April 16, 2014 - Posted by | Aletho News | , ,

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