Chile will not cede any of its national territory to Bolivia, Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno said Thursday in response to a Bolivian suggestion of resuming talks to settle a land dispute with a new Chilean administration.
"We have to be clear on this: Chile is not willing to give away a part of its territory ... No country in the world cedes part of its territory, " Moreno told local Pulso daily.
His remarks came two weeks after Bolivian President Evo Morales suggested resuming negotiations with the upcoming Chilean administration, which is likely to be led by former president Michelle Bachelet as she is favored to win a Dec. 15 runoff.
The center-left opposition candidate garnered 46 percent of the votes in the first-round poll in November, while her closest rival, ruling party candidate Evelyn Matthei garnered 25 percent.
Bolivia lost a large portion of territory, including key coastal area, in a war against Peru and Chile between 1879 and 1883, and has been trying to get it back ever since.
The landlocked country filed in April a lawsuit against Chile at the International Court of Justice, demanding its neighbor provide it with an access route to the Pacific Ocean.
Relations between Chile and Bolivia, which have not had diplomatic ties since 1978, improved during Bachelet's first term as president from 2006 to 2010.