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Chile, Bolivia fasten seat belts on final stretch toward ICJ ruling

SANTIAGO – Chile’s foreign minister Roberto Ampuero met with the former foreign ministers council to discuss “final details of Bolivia’s [maritime]  demand,” as the foreign ministry stated. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) announces its verdict on whether Chile has to negotiate sovereign access to the Pacific with Bolivia on October 1. Meanwhile, Bolivia stepped up relevant preparations in New York.

Although the ministry did not provide results of the meeting between Roberto Ampuero and the council – comprising Carlos Figueroa, Alejandro Foxley, Heraldo Muñoz, and Alfredo Moreno – it stated that the agenda revolved around the impending ICJ verdict on Bolivia’s maritime demand. Not much else could have been on the agenda anyway, since Chile’s representative for The Hague, Claudio Grossman, also participated in the meeting.

Yesterday, Ampuero rammed into a supposed flank Bolivia’s President Evo Morales opened recently. Greeting Chile on its September 18 festivities, Morales alluded to a “new era of peace” between both countries. In response, Ampuero diagnosed a softening in Bolivia’s position.

“President Morales is preparing the ground for a verdict that will not yield what he promised his people from The Hague: sovereign Chilean territory,” the minister said. He added that “Bolivia no longer speaks of sovereign territory. Now [Morales] says that all he wants is to seek formulas of understanding and a new era of peace.”

Bolivia’s Morales praises Chile on national holiday

Morales´ preparations

Bolivia’s state-news agency ABI, meanwhile, reported that Morales will meet with the legal team – including lawyers from Bolivia, Spain, France, Iran, and the UK – during his trip to New York. “During the morning of September 24 there will be a meeting of the entire legal team, and our representative and all authorities and those responsible for the maritime issue will come to New York,” ABI quoted foreign minister Diego Pary as saying. Pary said the team “will work and discuss until October 1” the possible avenues after the verdict.

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