La Paz, Feb 1 IANS | 9 months ago

Bolivia will not drop the suit that it has filed against neighbouring Chile at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), demanding its access to Pacific Ocean through Chile, Bolivian President Evo Morales said Friday.

Bolivia will press ahead with its demand for sea access through Chile and "the claim filed at The Hague will not be dropped," Xinhua quoted Morales as saying at the presidential palace of Quemado in La Paz in the wake of a recent media report that Bolivia may drop the suit in favour of bilateral negotiations.

"As far as I know, there can be dialogue parallel to the demand. We are open to dialogue accompanied by official proposals and solutions, and not just mere meetings," Morales added.

"I have heard repeatedly from Chile's future foreign minister, who says that the suit at The Hague is an obstacle to holding talks. I want to say, with all due respect, that we are not as inexperienced as before, we have learned, so they should stop trying to blackmail us or condition the talks on the suit," said Morales.

In last April, Bolivia filed its suit at The Hague, requesting the ICJ, also known as the World Court, obligate Chile into a negotiated solution to Bolivia's demand.

Bolivia had lost its sea access to Chile in the late 1800s, during the War of the Pacific, in which it lost 120,000 square km of land, including 440 k of coastline, to its neighbour.

(Posted on 01-02-2014)

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