Chile's government Friday called on Bolivia to carry out its natural gas sale without setting the condition of restoring a disputed sovereign route to the ocean.
The government spokesman Ricardo Lagos Weber said Chile has never agreed with the "gas for sea" proposal, as "we do not believe it is the way to meet Bolivia's demand" for the restitution of the route.
Lagos Weber said that although the Bolivian gas sale to Chile would be "of mutual benefit," Chile believed "the two issues should not be mixed."
He added that the sea issue had been discussed in the 13-point bilateral agenda proposed in 2006 by the governments of presidents Michelle Bachelet of Chile and Evo Morales of Bolivia.
The spokesman said this procedure had brought about good results such as a number of visits to Bolivia by high-ranking officials from the Chilean military.
In recent weeks Chile has been hit by a big decrease in gas imports from Argentina. As a result, Chile's gas reserves are barely sufficient to supply the household network.
The "gas for sea" proposal, made by former Bolivian President Carlos Mesa, also included clauses forbidding Argentina from reselling gas to Chile.
Chile and Bolivia broke off diplomatic relations in 1978, following the breakdown of negotiations for Pacific Ocean access. Bolivia wants Chile to restore the territories it lost in the Pacific war (1879-1884) that left the country without any coast.