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Minister Ampuero describes the closing of the Chilean oral arguments in The Hague as "solid, convincing and ground-breaking"

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

With the presentation of the Chilean legal team, the oral arguments phase of the "Obligation to Negotiate Sovereign Access to the Pacific Ocean" case, which confronts our country with Bolivia at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, ended today. "It has been a solid, convincing and ground-breaking plea. The conclusion is clear: Chile did not enter into any legal obligation to negotiate, let alone one to negotiate sovereign access to the sea," said Foreign Minister Roberto Ampuero.

The Foreign Minister assured that Chile built a "story based on truth, justice and anchored in international law". He also stated that "the shortcomings of the Bolivian argument were revealed", adding that the country "has not been able to specify the moment of creation or the content of the obligation".

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Finally, the Secretary of State pointed out that "Bolivia did not come to this Court to seek a solution", but rather to "force Chile to negotiate in perpetuity in order to comply with their obsession, their fixation and their demand to seize Chilean sovereign territories".

For his part, Agent Claudio Grossman assured that during these allegations the national legal presentation "totally disarticulated the arguments on which Bolivia intends to base an obligation to negotiate".

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After his words, both Minister Ampuero and the agent held a videoconference with the President of the Republic, Sebastián Piñera, who witnessed the closing of the arguments from the Palacio de La Moneda. "First of all, I would like to value, appreciate and congratulate the Chilean delegation, the Foreign Minister, the agents and the lawyers for the clarity and firmness of the defence of the Chilean position, which was based on facts and historical truth, on international law and on the 1904 Treaty", said the President.

The Head of State added "Chile is united in this cause, because it is a just cause: We have history, reason and right on our side, and I can assure all my compatriots that this President - as my predecessors have done, and with the support and unity of all Chileans - will defend our territory, our sea, our territorial integrity and our sovereignty with firmness and conviction, and will also comply with and enforce the 1904 Treaty".

It is now up to the International Court of Justice to begin the deliberative phase of the case. It is estimated that judgement could be rendered in the second half of 2018 or first half of 2019.

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