After two days of oral arguments at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by the Bolivian defense, on 19 and 20 March, it was Chile’s turn to plead its case this Thursday.
During the hearing, the Chilean agent, Claudio Grossman, asserted that the nation has no obligation to negotiate a sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean with the land-locked country.
Also, he stated that the Bolivian petition has to be “dismissed in its entirety” given that, in his opìnion, it is “unsustainable”. Then, he criticised their changing position regarding their claim.
Grossman affirmed that, in their memorial, and on Monday, the andean defense asked Chile to sit down, talk and negotiate an agreement that allows Bolivia to regain coastal territory after losing approximately 400 kilometers of such in 1883, when the War of the Pacific came to an end.
Nevertheless, Grossman accused that, on Tuesday, Bolivia changed its position and demanded Chile to grant them a sovereign access to the sea in front of the fifteen UN judges.
The agent reminded the ICJ that the 1904 Peace Treaty settled borders for the two states and that both ratified said pact.
However, he added that Chile “recognised in favour of Bolivia, in perpetuity, the fullest and most unrestricted rights of commercial transit in its territory and its Pacific ports”.
Chilean chancellor, Robert Ampuero, clarified that there are no pending matters in terms of border issues with Bolivia and that national borders and sovereignty are to remain unchanged.
“It is good that everybody knows that”, Ampuero said from the footsteps of the Peace Palace in The Hague.
Former head of State, Michelle Bachelet, agreed with his statement and took to Twitter to share her thoughts on the dispute. In her tweet, the expresident affirmed that the country’s arguments ratify its stance. “We do not have any pending matters with Bolivia”, she added.
Current president, Sebastián Piñera, coincided with Bachelet and stated that Chile’s arguments are based on legal and historic arguments.
“Our border with Bolivia was clearly established in the 1904 Peace Treaty, validly celebrated and fully in force”, Piñera wrote.
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