Chile requests Bolivia not to bring maritime demand to OAS

12:37, May 28, 2011      

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A Chilean official on Friday urged Bolivia not to present its maritime demand to the Organization of America States (OAS).

Eugenio Tuma, president of the Foreign Affairs Commission of Chile's Senate, said Bolivian President Evo Morales "was wrong to say that the OAS must intervene" in the century-long maritime dispute between the two countries.

Landlocked Bolivia has been demanding neighboring Chile restore an exit to the sea taken from Bolivia in the 1879-1883 War of the Pacific, after which Bolivia was cut off from the ocean.

On Thursday, Morales demanded Chile present a formal negotiation proposal for Bolivia to recover its exit to the sea during the upcoming 41th OAS General Assembly slated for June 5-7 in El Salvador.

"The solution to Bolivia's enclosure is an exit to the sea by the north of Arica (in northwestern Chile), because Chile cannot accept enclaves from other states in its territory," Tuma said. < Tuma said that was "the only logical way to assure Bolivia an access to the Pacific," but added it needs the consent of Peru.

The solution refers to a proposal of making a corridor without sovereignty in the north of Arica, some 2,000 km from Santiago. The idea, negotiated in 1975, was not accepted due to Peru's refusal.

In 1979, the OAS approved a resolution urging Chile and Bolivia to have dialogues to solve their differences.

The two countries restarted talks in 2006. But bilateral relations were cooling again after Morales threatened in March to take the issue to international organizations following Chile's missing of a deadline to offer concrete plans to satisfy Bolivia's demands.

Source: Xinhua
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