Hague Court agrees to try Bolivian suit against Chile

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-5-1 10:42:26

The Hague-based United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ) informed Bolivia and Chile of its acceptance to try landlocked Bolivia's suit against Chile for sea access, the Bolivian government said Tuesday.

Bolivia's Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca and Eduardo Rodriguez Veltze, the country's representative to the World Court, told reporters at a press conference at the foreign ministry's headquarters of the court's decision.

Rodriguez said the documents submitted by Bolivia to support its claim for an access route to the Pacific through Chile have been translated, certified and validated.

On April 24, Bolivia filed a lawsuit at the court, saying the measure was the last-ditch effort to pressure its neighbor into negotiating an agreement, after Chile rebuffed repeated diplomatic attempts at discussions on the matter.

Chile is now putting together its legal team, according to the Chilean government.

Choquehuanca stressed that Bolivia's decision to take its case to court should not be construed as hostile nor affecting bilateral relations between the two neighboring countries.

"We believe our relationship should stay the same, normal," he said.

The Chilean government maintains that Bolivia's claim has no legal standing and Chile's Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno said last weekend that his country "is not obligated to negotiate," as Bolivia claims.

"We are not going to make references to the assessments or comments that Chilean authorities make. We have taken a position...and these issues are debated inside, not outside the court," said Rodriguez.

Bolivia's territorial dispute with Chile can be traced back to the 1879 War of the Pacific, in which Bolivia lost 120,000 square km of land and 400 km of coast, along with its access to the sea.



Posted in: Americas

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